French champion of the IoT Actility raises 70 million euros

In 2016, Actility (Lannion, 181 employees), the leader in the LPWA (low power wide area) networks for the Internet of Things (IoT) and pillar of the LoRa alliance, received the EY West Entrepreneur prize and was designated “start-up of the year”.

Fund raising

In April, Actility managed to raise €70.5M with both historical partners (Foxconn, Swisscom, Orange, KPN, Idinvest and Ginko Ventures) and new ones: the German manufacturer Bosch, the French investment fund Creadev and the British specialist in satellite telecommunications monitoring Inmarsat. The Bpifrance Ecotechnologies fund is investing €10M. Actility will thus be able to continue developing its services, development kits and support via its ThingPark Marketplace solution designed for manufacturers to connect their tools and for use in rolling out IoT networks over an entire national territory.

Worldwide leadership

Actility is already behind 95% of public LoRaWAN network infrastructures worldwide. Its customers: Orange, Comcast, NTT, Softbank, Swisscom and Proximus among others. It also works with the cloud giants like Amazon, Microsoft, etc. O. Hersent (founder and CTO) thinks that its business will be driven by both industrial usages, mainly in energy, the development of private LoRa networks for companies and by the work it has undertaken with Inmarsat for LoRa satellite coverage of areas outside the range of terrestrial antennas.

This raising of funds will also allow it to accelerate its strategy for the United States and to consolidate its activities in China, as well as planning strategic acquisitions to expand its technological portfolio and boost its leadership in the LPWA sector.

Acquisition of Abeeway

Besides, Actility also finalised its buy out of the French geolocalisation specialist, Abeeway, in May. Both partners are focusing on developing and marketing a flexible localisation solution for the industrial IoT. The solution will combine the accuracy of the GPS with the low power, wide area capacity and low cost of LPWA networks under the IoT platform at ThingPark operator level, in order to support sectors like logistics, supply chain management, precision farming, public services and mining. Abeeway offers on-demand geolocalisation, movement alerts or geographical containment thanks to its low-consumption, multi-mode trackers. They announce the availability of a ThingPark X API for use by developers in managing the geolocalisation based on the needs of their applications.

Sources : Les Echos – 19/10/2016, Business Wire – 26/01/2017, L’Usine Digitale – 12/04/2017, Ouest France entreprises – 19/04/2017, L’Usine Digitale – 04/05/2017