December 3, 2023

OnomundoA start-up that offers a dedicated wireless network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, today announced that it has raised $21 million in a Verdane-led funding round with participation from Maersk Growth, People Ventures, and The Danish Growth Fund. In an email, CEO Michael Carlsen told TechCrunch that the new money will be directed toward production, market reach and marketing efforts as Onomondo expands its team from 50 people to about 100 by the end of the year.

Karlsen co-founded Onomondo in 2012 along with Henrik Aagaard with the goal, in Carlsen’s words, “to expand the capabilities of what a network can solve for the Internet of Things.” Onomondo has built a wireless network for IoT devices on the back of hundreds of cellular service providers operating in more than 180 countries.

Prior to co-launching Onomondo, Carlsen was the CFO of indie game studio Playdead and co-founded Tel42, a Danish network wholesaler on the Danish Telenor Network. Aagaard was the CTO of Tel42 until it was acquired by IoT provider Greenwave Systems.

“Our solution is unique in the marketplace, in that we … have built and operated our own backbone network from the ground up, which provides end-to-end control and visibility from any cellular antenna across the world to any cloud,” Carlsen told TechCrunch in a mailed interview. mail. “We’ve created a suite of IoT technologies with a set of unique electrical gadgets on top, making the service fundamentally different from anything else available on the market today.”

Image credits: Onomundo

A reserved network for IoT devices is not a new concept. London-based FloLive has built a cloud-based solution for connecting together local private cellular networks for IoT connectivity. Helium and Kepler Communications have moved away from using other cellular technologies, such as miniature satellites and “LongFi” to help IoT devices talk to each other. Big players like ComcastAnd the SoftBankAnd the orangeAnd the SKTAnd the KPNAnd the SwisscomAnd the VerizonAnd the Vodafone It was at one point creating or maintaining IoT networks nationwide as well, not to mention Amazon and Samsung.

Carlsen argues that dedicated IoT networks offer several advantages over traditional cells. For example, mobile phone networks usually do not operate at battery efficiency because the devices on the network must communicate frequently with cell towers. By contrast, networks like Onomondo are optimized for long-range data transmission and extremely low power consumption – at least in the case of Onomondo – charging only for data when the devices are active.

“The IoT market has almost been adapted to thinking about connectivity as something that needs to be designed around and ‘make it relevant’, which has become the status quo and normal,” Carlsen said. “So when we tell our customers that they can also use the network to double the life of their devices, use half the battery, cut data consumption by 90%, reduce debug time, reduce costs and increase stability with nothing but changing the network, that’s when people really start to listen and realize The power inherent in controlling and adapting the entire network architecture to the Internet of Things.”

When a customer installs one of the Onomondo SIM cards in their IoT devices, information about each device is sent to the cloud. As devices move from one country to another, the platform automatically routes the connection through the local network infrastructure. The device does not need to update itself or share sensitive data with local networks, and the device owner remains in control, Karlsen claims.

Pål Malmros, partner at Verdane, said companies in “asset-rich” industries such as transportation, manufacturing and logistics are the goal of Onomondo’s technology. “[These industries] He has long tried to harness the Internet of Things to manage supply chains, improve automation, and increase efficiency,” he told TechCrunch in a Q&A email. “By redesigning the existing communication architecture to create a single virtual IoT network, without relying on a network stack. A traditional operator, the Onomondo team brings a fresh, next-generation approach to the challenges the IoT market continues to face.”

It’s a really tough market. In January, Sigfox, a French Internet of Things startup that has raised more than $300 million, filed for bankruptcy protection as the pandemic slashed sales. The company has blamed a global shortage of chips, in part, for putting pressure on the larger electronic components market and – by extension – the demand for networks of IoT devices.


Image credits: Onomundo

But Karlsen insists Onomondo remains flexible, taking in about 50 new clients every three months. Current clients include Bosch, Carlsberg and Maersk.

“Business in the first quarter of 2022 was strong, and we saw a 4-fold increase in new customers as well as continued triple-digit growth per year in our existing customer base compared to 2021,” said Carlsen. “With this new funding, we look to meet our planned expectations of doubling our ARR over the next two years… [It’ll] It allows us to accelerate our strategy and capture a larger share of the market predominantly in Europe.”

To date, Onomondo has raised more than $26 million in capital.

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