Los Altos electronics startup Afero recently raised $20.3 million in a round of venture funding in order to secure connected devices, from arcade games to medical equipment. The company’s technology also works when WiFi doesn’t, employing 4GLTE and other radio equipment. Afero is teaming up with large hardware makers who’s job it is to install the startup’s proprietary chip to their IoT devices or components.
The licensed chips, who are being manufactured by Murata, assume the role of an identifier for the electronics they’re installed in. The will interact with router-like hardware in order to process data as it passes between the device and the cloud. The “router” could either be the user’s smartphone or a separate device made by Afero. The company also provides API’s and mobile app monitoring in order to protect data passing between devices and the cloud.
Samsung Catalyst Fund drove a Series A investment in Afero, which was later joined by Sashin Electronics Co. Ltd, SoftBank, Assembly Fund, Presidio Ventures, Linear Technology co-founder Robert C. Dobkin, and Fenox Venture Capital. According to Fenox’s CEO Anis Uzzaman, investors expect Afero to use the new capital for selling their system to leading makers of devices and hardware components. Afero has started by negotiating deals with both Bandai and Infocom, limited partners in
“In the personal property preservation and loss industry, water damage is a huge driver of insurance costs. These companies want a straightforward way to detect water leaks, early,” said CEO Joe Britt. He believes that the company is making inroads in the insurance business. “We give them a low-cost device that doesn’t rely on WiFi working in the home to be effective, that bridges water leak detectors in the home back to the cloud,” he added.