Israeli semiconductor company Wiliot has closed a $30 million series B financing round with funding from Amazon Web Services (AWS) Investment Arm, Samsung Venture Investment, and Avery Dennison. Norwest Venture Partners, 83North, Grove Ventures (led by Dov Moran), Qualcomm Ventures, and M Ventures also participated in the financing round. The company has raised $50 million to date including the current round.
The company is developing miniature chips for battery-free Bluetooth technology for use in Internet-of-Things applications. Founded in 2015 by CEO Tal Tamir, Yaron Alboim and Alon Yehezkeli, the company is based in Caesarea with offices in Tel Aviv, San Diego and Germany. Wiliot has 40 employees, of which 35 are in Israel.
Tamir told "Globes" that the company's technology connects the world of electronic chips with smart production, packaging and marketing and hence the strategic interest from tech-giants such as Amazon and Samsung. "The reason we raised $30 million is not because we need the money but because of the specific players that wanted to invest in us."
He added, “We believe that disposable electronics based on battery-free, low-cost systems is the foundation for future IoT systems. We are on the edge of dramatically changing the way products are made, how they are distributed, where and when they are sold, and how they are used and recycled. Re-cycling the radiation around us to power sticker-size sensors can enable new ways for consumers to interact with products that were previously not feasible. Products can share when they are picked up, their temperature, or when they need to be replenished. Without batteries or other high-cost components, tags have unlimited power and lifespan, so can be embedded inside of products that were previously unconnected to the Internet of Things.”
Avery Dennison VP & GM Francisco Melo said, “Wiliot’s strategy for battery-free Bluetooth transponders, that sense and communicate without the need of specific action by consumers, is very relevant to Avery Dennison’s intelligent label strategy. We believe in a future where every item will have a unique digital identity and a digital life, benefiting both consumers and brands, with relevant and contextual information. We see this as an extension to our world leading RFID solutions, enabling consumers to connect with products through multiple smartphones and IoT devices from end to end.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 14, 2019
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