There is a plethora of startups focusing on technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), security, and open source software hitting the market. This is no coincidence. Startups tend to highlight trends that the industry is seeing, and it will be interesting to see how these markets play out.
McKinsey & Company estimates there will be between 26 and 30 billion connected IoT devices by 2020. Not only does that create a huge market for IoT startups to play in, it creates a huge market for security, especially in light of the massive data breaches affecting billions of accounts, and open source startups too.
Here is a list of startups that we think are embracing these trends and that you should keep an eye on in the near future. This list is completely subjective. Use the comments to let us know who we left out.
Less than a year old, this startup is on a mission to offer an alternative to Kubernetes. Using its platform, developers can create Kontena Services including a container image, networking information, and any stateful attributes of its workload. Kontena Stacks also allow developers to manage applications that are made of multiple containers. It is able to run on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments.
The Finnish startup has only 12 people on the team and has raised a small, undisclosed amount of funding from a Finnish venture capital firm called Lifeline Ventures.
2. FogHorn Systems
This IoT startup found its place at the edge of the network running on Intel or ARM-based PC devices. Its compute stack allows enterprises to apply analytics and machine learning at the edge instead of relying on the cloud.
IoT and 5G technologies can produce a lot of data, and sending data to the cloud can require a lot of bandwidth or result in latency. For certain applications and time-sensitive data, it makes more sense to process data at the edge, using fog computing. FogHorn allows companies to lower their cloud costs and run only what is necessary in the cloud.
GE Ventures contributed to a $12 million Series A in July, planning to integrate FogHorn with the Predix IoT platform.
This IoT startup was formed by a group of former Google engineers and is led by two brothers — Alex Hertel, CEO, and Philipp Hertel, CTO. Xperiel’s platform differs from those of other IoT startups because it provides an orchestration layer for what it calls the Real World Web. This makes it possible to connect cloud-based applications and deliver what it calls a “mixed reality” to connected devices.
The technology, developed by the Hertel brothers, connects digital and physical assets. For example, it could connect a stadium scoreboard to digital signage, social channels and the television, and could deliver interactive marketing experiences to fans in the stadium.
Xperiel is using the consumer marketing angle to its advantage and is initially targeting sports teams with its technology. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Major League Baseball are strategic investors in the firm.
The Sunnyvale, California-based startup raised $7 million in August from some high-profile Silicon Valley Investors. These include Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, Stanford President, John Hennessy, Intuit’s Scott Cook, Google board member Diane Greene, and Uber founder Garrett Camp.
Only two years old, Rift.io is making a name for itself as a founding member of the Open Source MANO (OSM) group alongside Canonical and Telefónica. It has contributed significant code, including network service orchestration, a graphical user interface, and automation tools.
Only a month after the open source group’s first general-availability release, Rift.io rolled out the first commercial software based on that code. It created a hyperscale engine made of a set of application program interfaces (APIs) and built network orchestration on top of that.
RIFT.ware 4.3.3 includes an online virtual network function (VNF) descriptor package generator to guide users through an automated VNF on-boarding process. It also offers multisite support for network services spanning multiple data centers and clouds as well as support for Brocade Vyatta Network OS and the OpenStack Mitaka release.
Packet was founded in 2014 and launched its service in 2015, hoping to prove that a bare metal cloud can be as easy to use as Amazon Web Services (AWS). “Bare metal” refers to servers that are provided without an operating system; the customer provides all the software.
Because it isn’t running unneeded software, it can expect more performance from the CPU, making it more attractive to developers. Packet takes it even further by not having customers share servers.
The company highlights that its cloud was built for the age of containers and automation, supporting modern developer tools.
The company raised $9.4 million in September led by SoftBank helping bring its technology to Japan. About a month later Packet began letting its customers choose servers running ARM-based microprocessors instead of Intel-based servers. This is not surprising seeing that SoftBank completed is $32 billion acquisition of ARM Holdings in August.