Eutelsat investing in SIGFOX for IoT and M2M
February 11, 2015
By Chris Forrester
Sigfox, a French provider of connectivity for the ‘Internet of Things’, has secured $115 million in financing from a portfolio of strategic and financial investors, including Eutelsat.
“Eutelsat’s investment in SIGFOX signals our conviction that satellites can accelerate the development of the IoT market, both in terms of reach and reliability,” said Jean-Hubert Lenotte, director of strategy at Eutelsat. “Eutelsat is constantly looking at innovative developments that push back the boundaries of our markets, add value for our customers and anchor satellites in an increasingly connected economy. SIGFOX has assembled a unique and compelling solution for the IoT market. We look forward to contributing to their growth and participating in their experience and entrepreneurial development.”
The SIGFOX network is the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to provide two-way connectivity to billions of objects. Incorporated in 2009, SIGFOX has pioneered the Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) connectivity space and has become a reference player in IoT.
Following the deployment in France, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands and soon the US, SIGFOX will use this new equity round to accelerate its worldwide network roll-out in Europe, Asia and the Americas with the support of international telecom operators (Telefonica, SK Telecom and NTT Docomo Ventures), a leading financial sponsor (Elliott Management Corporation) and industrial partners (GDF SUEZ, Air Liquide and Eutelsat). These new partners join the existing financial investors that have been SIGFOX’s shareholders since 2011.
“This record $115 million round is a significant step in the development of our network’s coverage all around the world. The trust of our investors and the dynamism of SIGFOX’s team allow us to strengthen our position as the world leader in IoT communications,” said Anne Lauvergeon, SIGFOX’s chairman.
This strategic investment, which includes leading mobile network operators, clearly demonstrates how SIGFOX’s two-way low-throughput network complements existing high-bandwidth networks. The company sees a clear path towards unifying them in a single network, allowing always-efficient connectivity from both energy and throughput standpoints.
SIGFOX says the participation of Elliott Management Corporation bears testimony to the huge value-creation potential in the IoT sector, especially for leading players in the field like SIGFOX. “Elliott is very pleased to be part of this equity round in the leading IoT dedicated-network company,” the firm said in a statement. “We look forward to contributing actively to SIGFOX’s deployment in the US and worldwide.”
Existing financial investors, Elaia Partners, iXO PE, Partech Ventures and Idinvest, confirmed their support for the company and its management by reinvesting significantly in the current round. Bpifrance also strengthened its holding in SIGFOX and confirmed its commitment to the company through its Ambition Numérique (Digital Ambition) and Large Venture funds. “We strongly believe SIGFOX can be a future global player in the Internet of Things, and we are delighted to accompany its growth and increase our investment,” said Paul-François Fournier, director of innovation at Bpifrance.
SIGFOX’s global network is deployed through the SIGFOX Network Operator partnership program, with more than 2 million square kilometers already covered. The company is headquartered in Labège, France, and has offices in Mountain View, California, and Madrid, Spain.