VC Investment in IoT Companies Continues to Soar

VC Investment in IoT Companies Continues to Soar, by Mary Ann Azevedo, was originally published on The Network.
Adrian Fortino, one of Mercury Fund’s partners, shared his perspective on the opportunity for industrial internet of things (IIOT) technologies last year with The Network. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Agriculture Internet of Things

“Drones are already having a big effect in industrial IoT. Specifically, in agriculture with fixed-wing drones (PrecisionHawk) doing fast field analysis, and obstacle avoidance software companies like SkySpecs that embed a platform in a number of drone architecture.”

“It’s a leading adoption technology within the greater IIoT ecosystem and definitely interesting,” [Fortino] said.

Getting the comfort level with Industrial IoT

Investment in IIoT was initially slow to pick up but finished 2015 strongly. 2016 looks be be a big year in the sector as well in spite of the general venture slowdown. Mercury Fund portfolio manufacturing analytics company, Sight Machine, closed a $13.5M Series B earlier this year.

Fortino notes that historically, industrial adopters of technology “are still a little slow.”

“Purchase decisions are different, proof of concepts are different,” he said. But once these outside technologies are embraced, the expansion opportunities are massive within the big industrial players.

For Fortino, who was once a mechanical engineer and software entrepreneur, the comfort level with IIoT is there.

“We’re trying to solve a couple of big challenges within Industrial Internet adoption, such as inoperability and security,” he said. “If those two challenges are beginning to be solved in a more scalable broader, larger way, we will start to see an even bigger explosion.”

Companies in the sector that Mercury Fund has invested in include Sight Machine

Posted June 2016 by | AgTech, Midwest, Venture Investment Strategy