Ayla Networks gets funding to drive IoT platform

Ayla Networks gets funding to drive IoT platform

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Ayla has become the number-one IoT platform provider for manufacturers in many markets, including home appliances, residential and commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, water heaters, water softeners, and home fire and safety products. During the past year, the company has announced new or expanded relationships with manufacturing customers that include Changhong, Dimplex, Fujitsu General, Hampton Brinks, Hunter Fan, Kidde, LockState, Ozner, TCL and United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC).

Within one year, Ayla has more than doubled its employee headcount. To give its growing staff more room to work, the company recently moved its U.S. headquarters to a new building in Santa Clara, California, with 34,000 square feet of office space.

“Ayla is fast becoming one of the leading IoT platforms for OEMs that are manufacturing and shipping IoT products globally,” said David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks. “With IoT clouds operating in multiple regions worldwide, and with major customers continuing to expand their Ayla-powered IoT product lines, Ayla believes that the ‘when’ of the IoT is right now – and that Ayla Networks is well positioned to help manufactures take advantage of growing market for connected products.”

“We are at the threshold of a technology explosion that will see, in a few short years, each of us hosting several dozen connected devices in our homes and on our bodies, thanks to the IoT,” said Tom Kerber, director of research at Parks Associates. “But to get there, manufacturers of connected products need to navigate the complexities of the IoT. Both manufacturers and investors recognize the value of a secure, flexible, scalable and cost-effective IoT platform that meets the needs of today’s market – and that can continue to deliver value over the lifetime of a connected product.”

The financing round comes from a broad group of global investors led by Ants Capital, a boutique investment bank and asset management company with headquarters in China and investment interests in China, North America and Europe; co-led by 3NOD, a leading original design manufacturer (ODM) of smart lifestyle products; and joined by new investors Mitsui and Acorn Pacific. Existing Ayla investors Cisco Investments, Crosslink Capital, International Finance Corp. (IFC, a division of World Bank Group), Linear Venture, SAIF Partners/Oriza Ventures, SJF Ventures and Voyager Capital also reinvested in this financing round.

Ayla has enhanced and added partner relationships, including an open cloud-to-cloud partnership with Zonoff, designed to greatly simplify the effort currently involved in enabling smart home systems and solutions to enlarge their ecosystems of connected products; co-development of systems for IoT manufacturers with Encycle (formerly Regen), a smart energy management company; cooperative development projects with Renesas Electronics America; and the announcement that it is “all-in” with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the core cloud infrastructure powering Ayla’s IoT platform globally.

Within the past year, Ayla expanded its IoT platform offerings by launching the Ayla Agile Mobile Application Platform (AMAP) to accelerate the development of mobile control of connected devices; introducing Ayla Insights, a new IoT platform service that turns IoT connected-product data into actionable business intelligence for manufacturers; and adding mobile beacon technology, which automatically activates a connected product’s mobile app when a user’s smartphone is in proximity of a beacon-enabled connected product.

Ayla has now established IoT clouds in North America, China and Europe. In China – where Ayla is the only international IoT platform to have been granted a license to serve as an Internet Content Provider (ICP) in the People’s Republic of China – the company has built out its platform to integrate and align with WeChat, including a single WeChat sign-in so users can control multiple smart home, smart health and other IoT lifestyle products from a single app.

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