February 21, 2020

Why Verizon Ventures invested in Wiliot

Verizon Ventures is excited about announcing our Series B investment in Wiliot. 

When an investor looks at a startup, there are few factors to consider. Two factors include the investor’s confidence in the team’s background, skills and startup track record, and a compelling vision that solves a real need with substantial opportunity size.

Built by serial entrepreneurs with proven success

Wiliot’s team is composed of serial entrepreneurs with a long history of working together. Wiliot was founded in 2017 by Tal Tamir, Yaron Elboim, and Alon Yehezkely, who previously founded Wilocity, a maker of 60 GHz wireless chipsets, acquired by Qualcomm. The company’s engineers and the founders’ larger network has followed them from company to company.

Today, Wiliot announced that investors in shipping, consumer products and telecommunications have joined a list of investors that include cloud/eCommerce players, chip companies, pharmaceutical, RFID and financial investors. The investors participated in an extension of Wiliot’s B Round of funding – increasing the total raised by $20 million for a total of $70 million – as Wiliot prepares for mass production of its battery-free Bluetooth sensor tags that compute, sense and communicate securely with existing Bluetooth infrastructure. 

Wiliot’s development of a cloud-connected, paper-thin, battery-free Bluetooth tag may change the way things are made, distributed, sold, used, and recycled. The beacon is connected, battery-free, the size of a button and connected to the cloud, and it has the potential to impact industries, like smart homes, smart cities, industrial IoT, retail tech and pharmaceutical supply chain.

From a technology perspective, Wiliot’s first-ever sticker-sized Bluetooth sensor tag incorporates an ARM processor powered by harvesting energy from ambient radio frequencies. Wiliot’’s Bluetooth beacons are manufactured like RFID as a disposable plastic or paper tag. This tag allows for tracking anything. By eliminating most of the components of Bluetooth tags, Wiliot’s battery-free tags will decrease costs and operational complexity. This technology bypasses the slower adoption of other IoT applications that have been hindered by high operational costs and complexities.

A pillbox can track itself on the logistics path, provide information about its content in the pharmacy, be tested for authenticity by any user using motion-sensing of the pillbox that can provide adherence information, and even weigh itself to trigger automatic refill.  This is one of many examples of pilots the company is initiating.

Verizon Ventures is excited about investing in Wiliot due to the potential of its technology growing with Verizon’s connectivity platform.

 

Tags: Verizon Ventures , IoT , Corporate Venture Capital , Investment