SAN DIEGO, Feb. 18., 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One year on from revealing the very first engineering samples of the Wiliot chip behind closed doors at the National Retail Federation show in New York, Wiliot was demonstrating this technology in action at NRF 2020 in its own booth and on the stands of Avery Dennison, SATO Corporation and Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
"We have come a long way in the last year," said Tal Tamir, CEO of Wiliot. "Twelve months ago, conditions had to be perfect for the very first tags to work. Now we demonstrate Wiliot tags on bottles of wine, boxes of pizza and on envelopes. We are understanding how these tiny sensors embedded into products and packaging can change the way things are made, distributed, sold, used and recycled. By having a multiprocessor compute engine that powers itself, we have the security and flexibility to bring sensing and connectivity to things that previously couldn't be connected to the Internet of Things. Privacy is key if you are to connect products to the internet and nothing short of a system of this kind can make sure only the right people can see this information."
This latest investment round was led by Vintage Investment Partners and will provide the resources for Wiliot to support its customers' pilot projects and the growing development of Wiliot's Cloud components. Alan Feld, Founder & Managing Partner of Vintage Investment Partners said "Investing in Wiliot was a clear choice considering the huge market for and disruptive power of their technology. They bring an experienced team with a proven ability to execute, as we saw when we invested in the founders' previous company."
Wiliot Cloud enables IoT applications integrated with billions of products to scale. It is also key to managing security and privacy. A machine learning component delivers 'Sensorless Sensing'. This eliminates expensive, bulky, on-tag sensors, by shifting the analytics to a cloud system that can learn and improve over time.
Wiliot is running an early access program as part of an invitation only, controlled release of pre-production versions of the product with over 20 world leading brands.
"Entrepreneurial partners like Wiliot are part of PepsiCo's ongoing global effort to work collaboratively with startups as we advance our ambitions to become faster, stronger, and better," said Jim Andrew, Executive Vice President, SodaStream, Beyond the Bottle, and New Ventures, PepsiCo. "Wiliot's deep technology solution offers numerous use case possibilities, including the potential to better serve our partners by getting the right product, to the right place, at the right time."
"Wiliot's technology will create an expansive opportunity for how products are tracked and industries are managed," said Merav Rotem Naaman, Managing Director of Verizon Ventures. "The company's cloud-connected, battery-free Bluetooth tag enables a process that is more cost-efficient and consumer-centric, connecting new classes of 'things' to the internet - at scale."
"As a pioneer of a new category of battery-free Bluetooth sensor tags, Wiliot has the potential to significantly grow the opportunity for connectivity services for a much bigger Internet of Things and this has a high affinity for the NTT Group's IoT business initiatives. Since we expect it can contribute to creating new values, we decided to invest in Wiliot," said Takayuki Inagawa, President and CEO, NTT DOCOMO Ventures.
"We see technologies like Wiliot's as being part of a shift in the way supply chains are organized," said Rasmus Winther Moelbjerg of Deloitte. "Historically, production and distribution were driven by forecasting models that could often be wrong. We see a future where 'demand signals' that communicate using existing infrastructure in real time from the store and even from consumers' homes as they use products. By having an active compute element built into products and packaging that can sense temperature and usage while securely managing a unique digital ID for each product, there is the potential to run much leaner supply chains, consumption based business model, that reduce capital employed and carbon footprint while delivering a better experience to customers."
Vintage Investment Partners, Verizon Ventures, Maersk Growth, PepsiCo and NTT DOCOMO Ventures join previous Wiliot investors including: 83North, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Investment Arm, Avery Dennison, Grove Ventures, M Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures LLC and Samsung Venture Investment Corp.
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 cloud and semiconductor company making a computer the size of a postage stamp that powers itself by harvesting the radio energy that surrounds us. Our vision is to connect everything important to the internet, changing the way things are made, distributed, sold, used, and recycled. The company has a research and development team based in Israel, its operations team in Germany and 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 is a global materials science 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 more than 30,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Reported sales in 2019 were $7.1 billion. Learn more at www.averydennison.com.
About Grove Ventures
Grove Ventures specializes in early-stage, deep technology investments. We invest in people first and are committed to creating value by utilizing our cross-industry interpersonal networks, strategic partnerships and extensive industry experience. Grove's team, built of veteran entrepreneurs, company builders and experienced investors, supports start-ups throughout their inception and growth to become exceptional technology 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 Maersk Growth
Maersk Growth is the corporate venture arm of A.P. Moller - Maersk. Maersk Growth is investing and accelerating growth businesses to shape the future of trade, drive transformation in the logistics industry and support Maersk's corporate vision of delivering seamless, end-to-end logistics services. For more information, please visit growth.maersk.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 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.
About NTT DOCOMO Ventures
NTT DOCOMO Ventures, the NTT Group's corporate venture capital firm, aims to accelerate innovation for creation of new services, disruptive technologies and innovative processes serving as a primary channel for startup companies and venture communities on behalf of the NTT Group, Japan's leading ICT service provider. We proactively enhance cooperation with exceptional entrepreneurs on a worldwide scale by providing capital from our corporate venture funds and vast business development opportunities with the NTT Group companies. For more information please visit: http://www.nttdocomo-v.com/en/.
Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is celebrating its 20th year as one of the world's leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $131.9 billion in 2019. The company offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its award winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers' demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
Vintage Investment Partners is a global integrated venture platform combining secondary funds, direct co-investment funds, and fund-of-funds. With approximately $2 Billion under management across Israel, Europe and the US, the firm is invested in several of the world's leading venture funds with exposure to over a thousand technology companies. Vintage uses its unmatched network to connect thousands of technology startups across the world to hundreds of corporations seeking support in their digital journeys, helping drive an ecosystem to maximize its potential and reach new heights The Vintage General Partners are Alan Feld, Abe Finkelstein, Amit Frenkel and Asaf Horesh along with 34 team members.
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