To most observers, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a story of smarter things: fridges that tell you what to buy at the grocery store, lighting and climate control that anticipate user’s needs, or inter-connected machines that enable smarter and more efficient manufacturing.
For Particle, the story began in 2012 with a thing, a smart lightbulb, but has ended up with a focus on the connective tissue that makes IoT tech possible.
Particle announced last month that it had raised a $40 million Series C funding round led by Qualcomm Ventures, the venture side of the $100 billion telecom hardware and superconductor company, and Energy Impact Partners, a cleantech investment fund backed by large utility operators. The round also included previous investors Root Ventures, Bonfire Ventures, Industry Ventures, Spark Capital, Green D Ventures, Counterpart Ventures, and SOSV, who have helped the company raise a total of $81.3 million to date.
Particle provides a platform for companies to build IoT capability on top of, while also occasionally assisting with implementation. While this may sound abstract compared to making a smart thermostat, Particle believes that by selling a platform and offering implementation, it is solving the harder problem and leaving customers to work on the actual use of IoT in their products.
Qualcomm and Energy Impact Partner’s investments seem to signal that they agree. Both make sense as a partner: Qualcomm makes money by providing the hardware behind the scenes of some of consumers’ most-used products and invests in platforms like Zoom, and Energy Impact Partners invests for a group that has a need for an overarching platform to manage a complex mix of technology.
We spoke to Particle CEO Zach Supalla and got a look at the deck that the company used to raise their Series C. Take a look at the full deck below.