French start-up Sigfox raises US$115m to build global IoT network

11 Feb 2015

French start-up Sigfox has raised US$115m in investment from several investors to build an internet of things (IoT) network that would connect multiple devices in 60 countries over the next five years.

The investors in Sigfox include Telefonica, GDF Suez, NTT DoCoMo Ventures, SK Telecom, Air Liquide and Elliot Management.

Sigfox’s IoT network currently covers France, Spain, the Netherlands and 10 cities in the UK and now it plans to roll out its network in the US, Latin America, Japan and South Korea.

The company builds low-energy wireless networks that connect to electricity smart meters, washing machines, thermostats and so on and that are capable of emitting a small amount of data at a time.

So far more than 7m objects are connected to the Sigfox IoT network.

This includes 5m apartments in Spain in partnership with Securitas Direct.

Unique network

“Today, hundreds of applications are available to take advantage of the properties of this unique network,” said Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan.

“The fact that big telcos participated in the round shows that SIGFOX complements existing networks by providing either primary connectivity for objects that are under big cost or/and autonomy constraints, or backup connectivity for equipment that already has GSM, WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.

“The terrestrial infrastructure deployed by SIGFOX will soon be enriched by satellite connectivity so that there won’t be any spot on Earth that can be left out. 

“This unique protocol that can connect every object on Earth and at sea, and that will keep its low power consumption and low-cost characteristics, is also what the new industrial investors are supporting,” Le Moan said.

Internet of things image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years