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Wirepas raises EUR14.4m investment

ETF Partners, Inventure, KPN Ventures, TESI (Finnish Industry Investment) and Vito Ventures have invested EUR14.4 million in Wirepas, a Finnish software company that has built a wireless connectivity platform solving the major challenges of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and enabling broad adoption of Massive IoT. 

The additional funding, including the participation of existing investors, takes the total investment in Wirepas to EUR22 million.

“I am delighted to have Tesi and KPN Ventures joining as Wirepas investors and board observers. It is now clear that massive IoT networks are at the breakout phase and mesh networking from Wirepas is uniquely enabling that to happen. I am grateful that Tesi and KPN Ventures have joined our existing shareholders and share our vision,” says Andrew Gilbert, Chairman of the board at Wirepas

Wirepas will focus its investments on further strengthening and increasing the reach of the global Wirepas ecosystem as well as on continuous product development. During the last three years the company has built an ecosystem of semiconductor, module partners, OEMs and System Integrators to serve end users around the globe resulting in millions of Wirepas enabled devices shipped. Today Wirepas Mesh is being used to connect smart meters, lights and other assets in supply chain and logistics to reliably deliver the data needed by enterprises to boost their competitiveness and sustainability.

Recently signed customer agreements with industry leaders such as Prologis, Maersk and Fujitsu will provide the backbone of its future growth, adding to Wirepas’ existing customer base of over 100 companies and offering further proof of the competitive advantage of Wirepas Mesh.

“We are clearly seeing that the Massive IoT market is maturing as evidenced by our customers and partners: no longer is it about testing and piloting. We believe in the power of ecosystems where specialized vendors combine their competencies and passion to serve the customer. Together we are delivering concrete and tangible benefits to enterprises wishing to boost their efficiency and sustainability through the adoption of massive IoT. Our connectivity platform is field proven and meets the needs of a plethora of market needs ranging from asset tracking to smart cities and lighting. Wirepas increases end user return on assets significantly and aims to become the most pervasive connectivity system for massive IoT,” says Teppo Hemiä, CEO at Wirepas.

Sjoerd Spanjer, investment director of KPN Ventures, says: “As a leading connectivity provider, KPN acknowledges the growing momentum for IoT solutions with an increasing amount of connected devices throughout the value chain. IoT networks that can facilitate large scale deployments with flexible capabilities are becoming increasingly important for successful roll-out. The Wirepas team has developed unique best-in-class software for this purpose and is already working with leading international partners and customers. Through our investment, we aim to support Wirepas in their global expansion and see opportunities to leverage Wirepas’ technology to enhance and complement KPN’s IoT network technologies: M2M, LoRa, LTE-M and in the future also 5G”.

“We were convinced that Wirepas technology is a key enabler for Industrial IoT adoption especially in use cases where massive, cost efficient scaling is required. A number of global blue-chip customers are currently adopting the Wirepas mesh technology, which alongside economic benefits also drives positive environmental impact and resource efficiency and thereby supports our responsible investment principles. As a European company with global ambitions, Wirepas is also a natural fit with the EFSI programme,” says Juha Lehtola, Tesi´s Director, Venture Capital.

Tesi’s investment in Wirepas is the first to take advantage of the new financial mechanism between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Tesi, paving the way for large investments in growth companies. Tesi is the EIB’s first partner in the Nordics that channels financing guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to SMEs and innovative mid-cap companies as equity investments.

”When we formed this co-investment platform with Tesi, this is the kind of investment we had in mind.” adds EIB vice-president Alexander Stubb. “Although already quite competitive, in the Finnish equity investment landscape especially larger equity investment rounds were seen to be lacking investor support. This is a clear example of what Europe, and in particular the EIB, should be doing; to support innovation and improve peoples’ lives by strategic investments. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing more of these investments.”

Wirepas was founded in 2010 as a spinoff from Tampere University, where it was part of a research program to connect an unlimited amount of environmental sensors wirelessly. Since 2014, the company has provided a hardware-independent radio communications protocol based on a de-centralised network topology, using a software licensing model. Wirepas shareholders include founders, Inventure Investment Fund from Finland, Vito Ventures from Germany, ETF Partners from the UK, management shareholders and private investors. The company employs approximately 50 people in nine countries.

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