First Battery-Free Bluetooth® Sticker Sensor Tag Demonstrated at NRF
Amazon Web Services, Avery Dennison and Samsung join Wiliot's original investor group for a $30 Million Series B Funding Round, anticipating a future where paper thin battery-free Bluetooth sensors connect people with packaging and products.
Jan 14, 2019, 06:00 ET
NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wiliot, the semiconductor pioneer and innovator, raises a $30 million series B for a total of $50 million in funding. This follows its demonstration of the first-ever sticker-sized Bluetooth sensor tag incorporating an ARM processor powered solely by scavenging energy from ambient radio frequencies. Wiliot made the announcement today at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2019: Retail's Big Show in New York City.
A Wiliot chip glued to a simple antenna printed on plastic or paper can authenticate the proximity of a product by transmitting an encrypted serial number along with weight and temperature data from a device the size of a postage stamp. Eliminating most of the components associated with traditional Bluetooth, these tags lower sale and maintenance costs to previously unachievable levels. The tags use Wiliot's breakthrough in nanowatt computing to communicate with any device enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy, such as smartphones, Wi-Fi access points and Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can connect to digital displays, Wi-Fi and LTE cellular networks.
On the heels of their first successful tests, Wiliot, whose R&D department is based in Israel, closed a Series B round of funding with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Investment Arm, Samsung Venture Investment Corp. and Avery Dennison. These organizations have joined Norwest Venture Partners, 83North, Grove Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and M Ventures to raise an additional $30 million of funding.
"We believe that disposable electronics based on battery-free, low-cost systems are the foundation for future IoT systems. We are on the edge of dramatically changing the way products are made, how they are distributed, where and when they are sold, and how they are used and recycled," said Tal Tamir, Wiliot CEO and co-founder. "Re-cycling the radiation around us to power sticker-size sensors can enable new ways for consumers to interact with products that were previously not feasible. Products can share when they are picked up, their temperature, or when they need to be replenished. Without batteries or other high-cost components, tags have unlimited power and lifespan, so can be embedded inside of products that were previously unconnected to the Internet of Things."
Real-life applications for Wiliot tags are wide-ranging. For example:
- Bluetooth tags can be embedded in the production phase of consumer goods, allowing real-time tracking through the manufacturing process, to the warehouse and from the store to the end consumer—all while being sensed for critical information.
- At the retail level, the Wiliot transponder can overcome the limits of human-readable product information on tags or packaging, unlocking interactive engagement through the consumer's own phone or displays.
- At home, consumers can communicate with their products to get instructions and reminders of when and how to use them, and Wiliot-enabled containers can automatically reorder themselves when empty.
- Valuable products can be tracked in case they are lost or stolen without having to add a dongle with limited battery life.
- Clothing with Wiliot tags can communicate with washing machines to ensure whites never turn pink.
"Wiliot's strategy for battery-free Bluetooth transponders, which sense and communicate without needing specific action by consumers, is very relevant to Avery Dennison's intelligent label strategy," explained Francisco Melo, VP & GM, Global RFID, Avery Dennison. "We believe in a future where every item will have a unique digital identity and a digital life, benefiting both consumers and brands, with relevant and contextual information. We see this as an extension to our world-leading RFID solutions, enabling consumers to connect with products through multiple smartphone and IoT devices from end to end."
For more information and additional media assets, including video, photography, a blog on the development and future of the product and an interview with Wiliot R&D staff, go to www.wiliot.com/press.
Wiliot is a semiconductor company whose mission is to connect people with products using cloud connected, sticker sized Battery Free Bluetooth tags. The company was founded by the leadership of the Gigabit Wi-Fi pioneer Wilocity, a group of wireless engineers experienced in building new products and the ecosystems required for their success. Wiliot has a research and development team based in Israel and a business development headquarters in San Diego, California.
About 83North is a global venture capital firm. The fund invests across all stages, in exceptional entrepreneurs, whose focus is to build global category leading companies. For more information visit www.83north.com and follow us on Twitter @83NorthVC.
About Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison Corporation (NYSE: AVY) is a global materials science and manufacturing company specializing in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of labeling and functional materials. The company's products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical and retail applications; tags, labels and embellishments for apparel; and radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company employs approximately 30,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Reported sales in 2017 were $6.6 billion. Learn more at www.averydennison.com
About Grove Ventures is a venture capital fund focused on early stage deep technology Israeli based companies.
About M Ventures
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the company's core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. M Ventures has a significant focus on early stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage the company's science and technology base. For more information, visit www.m-ventures.com.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest is a leading growth equity and venture investment firm managing more than $7.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders advance on their journey. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit Norwest. Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.
About Qualcomm Ventures
As the Venture Capital investment group of Qualcomm Incorporated, a world leader in next-generation wireless technologies, Qualcomm Ventures, through affiliated entities, including Qualcomm Ventures LLC, has been making strategic investments in technology companies that have the potential to dramatically transform our world since 2000. As a global investor, we're focused on building the connections that bring our mobile future forward. For more information please visit: www.qualcommventures.com.
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