Actility raises funds to drive private network sales, IoT sector acquisitions – RCR Wireless News

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French low-power IoT specialist Actility, operating and selling LoRaWAN infrastructure, has raised €16 million ($17.2m) in a new funding round to drive its own growth in the private networks space and consolidation in the wider low-power IoT market. The implication is that Actility remains on the acquisition trail, to cement LoRaWAN, primarily, as the go-to low-power wide-area (LPWA) tech for enterprises seeking to take charge of their own private networks for IoT tracking and monitoring applications.  

A press note suggested “a strong market recovery for IoT” since the Covid-19 pandemic, plus the wider push by cellular providers into the enterprise space, has inspired renewed interest from investors in LPWA network technologies, notably in LoRaWAN, and in private wireless enterprise networks, as well. It name-checked the CBRS movement in the US in support of this second trend. Actility made its name in the supply of LoRaWAN for large-scale IoT deployments.

The firm, founded in 2010, and a mainstay in the LoRa Alliance, has played a key role in the establishment of LoRaWAN for use cases like metering, lighting, and logistics. But it has a fast-developing business, as well, in the supply of the same to enterprises. The enterprise version of its ThingPark platform is geared for private LoRaWAN deployments, but covers management of a range of network private networking technologies besides, using unlicensed and also licensed bands.  

“[It] is also at the forefront of emerging private cellular networks like CBRS,” the company stated. “It… integrates field operations with cloud-based AI.” Actility said it has a network of 100 resellers worldwide, offering ThingPark Enterprise for industrial IoT infrastructure management. “As the IoT market matures, Actility is positioning [itself] as a consolidator,” it said, making reference to its 2017 purchase of indoor/outdoor geolocation company Abeeway and 2023 takeover of SCHC pioneer Acklio.

Actility raised €70 million raise in 2017 with major telecom operators (Orange, KPN, Inmarsat, Foxconn, Swisscom), venture capital firms (BPI, BNP Paribas, Ginko Ventures, Indinvest), and industrial players (Bosch, Cisco, Mulliez Creadev) all chipping in. BPI has invested again; there was no word on other funding sources. The company said its LoRaWAN solutions “connect upwards of four million devices”; ThingPark networks host “in excess of 40,000 base stations”, it said.

The press note quoted data that the LoRa/LoRaWAN-end of the IoT market will reach $25.5 billion in 2028, from $5.6 billion in 2023; average growth is forecast at 35.3 percent per annum. “Enterprise adoption [of IoT is] nearly doubling each year”, it said. Actility’s year-on-year growth for enterprise deployments is over 75 percent, it claimed – “double the industry average”. Construction group Bouygues and energy giants PowerCo (New Zealand) and Total (Europe) are highlighted as clients.

The Red Sea smart city project in Saudi Arabia is also using LoRaWAN gear from Actility. The company stated: “Our potential market is very deep, with an estimated two million-plus private networks worldwide.” 

Olivier Hersent, founder and chief executive at Actility, said: “Due to its vast-reaching and industrial nature, the maturation of IoT technology took longer than anticipated. However, we have now entered a phase of steady growth, with enterprise adoption nearly doubling each year, propelled by widespread digitization. AI cannot operate without data, and our technology anchors AI to the real world across numerous industries.”

He went on: “LoRaWAN is the WiFi of IoT. Our potential market is very deep, with an estimated two million-plus private networks worldwide. Our distributors and partners have secured large accounts…. Most of these large accounts gradually deploy across multiple sites and for multiple use cases. More accounts, more sites, more use cases – this is the formula for our accelerated growth in the coming years.”

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