Today, North America is home to 2,888 Internet of Things businesses that together employ some 342,000 workers. These IoT firms have secured $125 billion in funding to date, resulting in a total $613 billion in value.
Ninety-five of these companies have achieved the status of "unicorn" -- startups that are worth more than $1 billion each. To get there, every one of these tech up-and-comers has relied on financial investment and strong relationships with the businesses and people investing them.
Here are three prominent examples of startups that have excellent relationships with their investors, hand-picked by the Internet of Things World team.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based IoTium is a startup focused on developing secure network infrastructure for the industrial Internet of Things.
The startup is attempting to carve out a niche by creating secure connections between industrial applications that were not originally designed for Internet access, including factories, oil rigs, medical equipment and public transit networks.
To date, IoTium has secured $8.4 million in Series A funding and is backed by investors including GE Ventures, March Capital and Juniper Networks, as well as Ankaj Patel, former executive vice president and chief development officer at Cisco.
The startup's cash injection has been used to expand its footprint in the oil and gas, transportation and smart city industries with the launch of the IoTium Network as a Service (NaaS) solution.
This investment has led to a recent distribution partnership with The Panel Shoppe, a supplier of smart building control panels and professional services.
IoTium has also recently entered into a partnership with building automaton firm Relevant Solutions.
Evrythng, based in London, New York and San Francisco, is a startup which creates IoT and smart solutions to make products more intelligent and interactive.
The company says it wants to take IoT a step further by ensuring that connected devices can be managed and improved through real-time data and analytics throughout the full product lifecycle, which includes assigning digital identities to devices which allow them to be tracked.
This not only allows businesses to gain insight into their supply chains, but consumers can also interact with products to participate in loyalty schemes, become aware of counterfeit product and find out more information.
The company's clients include Coca-Cola, Avery Dennison RBIS, Crown Holdings and West Rock.
The startup has secured $42.3 million in four funding rounds. Sway Ventures, Atomico and BHLP have acted as lead investors.
Bill Malloy, founding general partner of Sway Ventures, said investing in Evrything made sense as there was a "strong fit with leading brands looking to implement IoT solutions and needing a platform from which to do so."
"Our team believes in a world where smart things are everywhere," Malloy said, "creating pervasive connectivity -- and Evrythng is bringing that future closer every day. Evrythng is not just a smart products platform, it supports supply chain visualization, product authenticity and direct consumer engagement. Cisco and Samsung's investment involvement was a strong positive sign of the vision, company, team and product."
Sway Ventures is particularly keen to invest in companies that are creating new consumer and enterprise categories ripe for investment, and Evrythng has found a new way to control and manage supply chains.
Home security sensor and IoT startup Notion, based in Denver, Colo., provides home security and monitoring through adaptable sensors. The low-cost sensors can be used to monitor for unauthorized entry, as well as to take temperature readings and more in every corner of a user's home.
The startup has secured $16 million in funding to date through six investment rounds after its beginnings as a Kickstarter campaign. Investors include Draper Nexus, Translink Capital, Mesh Ventures and XL Innovate.
Notion has used the funding to expand the development of home sensor products and to push for partnerships with home goods suppliers as well as tap into the insurance market.
In the same way that owning a garage can bring down vehicle insurance premiums, IoT security solutions also may one day become a useful addition for insurers -- an idea that has captured the imagination of XL Innovate.
Martha Notaras, XL Innovate partner and investor, said Notion attracted the funding due to its "compelling combination of beautiful IoT hardware and new forms of data, that are useful to both consumers and property insurers."
The startup not only presented a clear vision backed by entrepreneurial and technical experience, according to Notaras, but also touched an area in which there was clear commercial interest for new, innovative solutions.
The investor says that startups keen to stand out from the crowd need to show how their products fits into the market if they are to succeed. They must also have a competent team and a growth path if they are going to attract the interest of investors.
"A VC must believe in a probable path to venture-scale returns in order to invest in a company early on, and the onus is on the startup to tell that story," Notaras added.
"Notion's multi-purpose sensors allow homeowners to easily set up a home awareness system, detect water leaks before they damage a home, or know if a fire alarm is going off while traveling -- among many other use cases. For insurers, Notion's sensors can capture insights into the health of customer homes while preventing costly claims before they occur."
Jeremy Coward, Content marketing lead, Connected Innovation, KNect365, 1/15/2018
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