Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Particle raises $40m to expand IoT platform team

Steve Rogerson
November 6, 2019
Californian IoT start-up Particle has raised $40m in a series C round led by Qualcomm Ventures and Energy Impact Partners.
The average fleet of IoT products on Particle’s platform has grown by 70% since the beginning of the year, and its revenue has grown 150% year-over-year.
“Our success can be measured by our customers’ growth,” said CEO Zach Supalla. “Raising this capital is an important milestone for us.”
Companies have been developing and launching IoT products on the Particle platform since 2013, when it launched its first hardware development kit. For example, Opti is preventing city flooding through its intelligent stormwater management system in 41 cities around the world; it’s connected offering moves millions of gallons of storm runoff to ensure sewage systems aren’t overloaded.
Hot bath maker Jacuzzi used Particle to bring its connected spa product, SmartTub, to market to provide a better experience for its consumers; now with thousands in the market launched in just six months, it is seeing a six per cent lift in retail margin. 
“As micromobility surprised everyone by becoming the fastest-growing market in IoT, our customers like Shared Technologies and Korean-based Olulo are successfully tackling the incumbents in the space,” said Supalla.
The Air National Guard is also using Dynamis asset tracking with its first responders in public emergencies. This provides real-time data for more efficient coordination with reduced time and cost in critical situations.
“The technology that surrounds us is becoming more ubiquitous and intelligent every day,” said Supalla. “But if you work in a traditional industry – manufacturing, logistics, energy etc – the world is less connected and opportunities to catch up with the digital age are complex and confusing. That’s because technology and innovation are not evenly distributed, and the decades-old manufacturers that lead traditional industries are more likely to be the disrupted than the disruptor. Particle is here to help to change this dynamic; we’re here to empower the next generation of IoT companies and bring the physical world online to fundamentally change how traditional industries operate.”
Qualcomm Ventures was a natural fit for Particle because it makes a lot of the technology that is embedded deep within IoT products.
Major investors from previous raises are continuing to invest in Particle’s growth including Root Ventures, Bonfire Ventures, Industry Ventures, Spark Capital, OATV, Green D Ventures, Counterpart Ventures and SOSV, who all participated in this round.
Particle says it will use the money raised in this round to continue developing its enterprise IoT platform suite, as well as scale its engineering and product teams. These new team hires will help bolster its Particle Studios professional engineering service and help its customers bring their products to market.
“We’ll also be expanding into new global markets while hiring in sales and marketing,” said Supalla. “We are optimistic about the future and, if it wasn’t clear, we are hiring. The IoT industry is complicated and in need of talented individuals who can help bring the cost of connectivity down and help our customers build the connected products of the future. When this has been accomplished, entire industries will be revolutionised. And we’ll be out there, leading the charge.”