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Samsung leads $20m financing round in Afero IoT start-up

Steve Rogerson
May 25, 2016
Samsung has led a $20.3m Series A financing round in California IoT connectivity firm Afero, a start-up founded by veterans from Google, Apple, Nest, Danger, Amazon, Twitter and Netflix.
The Afero platform brings secure connectivity to the IoT for both enterprises and the home. The investment was led by Samsung Catalyst Fund, and joined by the SoftBank Group, Fenox Venture Capital, Presidio Ventures, Sanshin Electronics, Robert Dobkin and Assembly Partners.
"Our technology helps companies rapidly create and deploy connected products by automating the core embedded, mobile and cloud development tasks," said former Apple and Google man Joe Britt, CEO and co-founder of Afero. "Afero was designed to speed and simplify product development, whether companies choose to modernise a legacy product or create something entirely new."
The Afero platform is built to power both the home and the enterprise IoT market, which is predicted to reach $3tn by 2021, more than three times the size of the consumer IoT market. Afero aims to let it be easy to make something smart, whether upgrading, connecting and modernising a legacy product, or creating something entirely new.
The platform has layers of security embedded throughout, from application services on a phone to network access control services with built-in authentication to the cloud and back. It seamlessly connects walled gardens by intelligently assembling smart devices, regardless of brand, so they can work together through the secure Afero end-to-end architecture.
After 18 months in development, Afero went live in December 2015 and announced partnerships with Murata, Infocom and Bandai Namco Studios. Afero serves as the secure foundation for these partners and others to drive IoT innovation and reimagine industries such as automotive, retail, manufacturing, consumer electronics, gaming, healthcare and office supply.
"Afero has built an elegant end-to-end platform that solves a real problem for companies struggling to set up, deploy and manage IoT at scale," said Shankar Chandran, vice president and head of Samsung Catalyst Fund. "This investment amplifies our strategy of open innovation and collaboration, which fuels innovative start-ups and enables them to bring their visions to market more effectively."
Fenox Venture Capital provides seed, venture and growth-stage funding to emerging technology companies focused on the internet, mobile, social, cloud, and emerging technologies areas.
"The team's experience and their playbook from past successes makes us believe Afero will power the next generation of IoT technologies," said Anis Uzzaman, general partner from Fenox Venture Capital.
Shaun Tanabe, director of Presidio Ventures, added: "Afero has already demonstrated that its platform can be quickly deployed for large and small businesses alike. We think the benefits of IoT are only starting to be realised for corporations and consumers around the world."
The Afero turnkey architecture incorporates a secure Bluetooth Smart module, scalable cloud services, and a range of development tools that enable companies and developers to prototype and build connected devices, then gather meaningful analytics.
"We're excited and honoured to have such an extraordinary group of investors," said Britt.