KDDI-owned Soracom expands IoT partner programme into Europe, Americas
KDDI-owned IoT connectivity provider Soracom, an investor in and collaborator with new Sigfox-owner UnaBiz, has expanded its partner network into the Americas and Europe, it has said, including via its UnaBiz partnership. The firm said its partner ranks have swollen to 800 companies with new additions in the two regions. These include “more than 100 certified partners”, it said, from across the hardware, software, solutions, and integration services sectors.
Its partner programme, called Soracom Partner Space, enables partners to share leads and expertise, and co-creation solutions together. Its expansion will accelerate time to market for IoT developers in Europe and the Americas, it said. New partners include AI Dynamics, Balena, BDATA, CalChip Connect, Cassia Networks, Converge IoT, Esper, IoThink Solutions, NeuronicWorks, Prescient Devices, Quake Global, Seeed Studio, SGS, SpaceSense Systems, ST, Teltonika Networks and Telematics, Thinxtra, uHoo, and long-time partner UnaBiz.
Soracom announced new investment, of an unconfirmed amount, from six technology firms in the middle of last year, including from two major IoT customers, in the form Nippon Gas (NICIGAS) and Sourcenext Corporation in the Japanese utility industry, as well as from Japan-based trio Hitachi, Secom, and Sony Group, and World Innovation Lab, a US-Japan venture capital firm and a repeat investor.
Soracom said at the time the funding will “promote global IoT expansion”. The firm claims to “power” four million IoT devices in 160-odd countries, via its Soracom Air platform, reworked as Soracom Arc last year, supporting a combination of cellular IoT and Sigfox. It has added a million devices for four years running, it reckons; the figure was one million in 2019, two million in 2020, three million last year, and four million now.
Its early growth, following a takeover by KDDI in 2017, was driven by a contract for 850,000 Sigfox-based retrofitted gas meters for NICIGAS in Japan, signed in 2019, and developed with Singapore-based UnaBiz and connected on KYOCERA’s Sigfox network. The project remains one of the largest IoT deployments in the smart utilities space. UnaBiz raised over $10 million in a Series A funding round in 2018, led by Soracom; the Singapore’s latest funding round, ahead of its Sigfox capture, was worth $25 million.
Soracom announced a new platform last year, called Arc, to allow IoT developers to connect devices using “blended” Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and satellite connectivity, as well as low-power wide-area (LPWA) cellular technologies, including NB-IoT and LTE-M, as well as the non-cellular LPWA standard Sigfox. The Arc platform provides IoT developers secure access to Soracom’s suite of 17 network and application services, including cloud integration, private networking, data optimization, secure remote access, and on-demand packet capture.
Alexis Susset, vice president of global product and EU sales at Soracom, said: “Collaborating with industry-leading partners to connect millions of devices worldwide, Soracom understands deeply that success in IoT depends on the specialized tools and expertise that only a complete ecosystem can provide. We are thrilled to expand our global partner program to help more customers bring successful solutions to market and scale quickly across Europe and around the world.”
Yadia Colindres, deputy chief technology officer at UnaBiz, said: “UnaBiz has connected over one million devices with Soracom and that number is fast-growing. With this global partnership, UnaBiz will be sharing its ideation, production, deployment and maintenance experience and services in Massive IoT with the entire Soracom ecosystem, to help IoT solution providers and operators to scale quickly and with confidence.”
Julien Dalmasso, chief executive at IoThink Solutions, said: “Over 3,000 professionals use IoThink Solutions’ IoT platform, KHEIRON IoT Suite, to monitor and control connected devices, and analyze data all around the world. Like Soracom, we believe in open and interoperable platforms to serve customers across various industries, from Smart Building to Smart Industry, Smart Energy or even Smart City. We look forward to working together to assist builders and help integrators design and deploy a new generation of IoT use cases.”