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IoT Platforms Mature, But Hype Threatens Shakeout

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IoT Startups Offer Strong Platforms, but Weak Players Face Elimination After Generous Funding, per Lux Research.

Even though many Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, a key bridge to connect products and operations to the Internet in valuable ways, demonstrate maturity and variety, a shakeout looms after years of generous venture capital funding, according to Lux Research.

A Lux Vendor Matrix revealed a wide range of companies with technically sound platform products providing broad capabilities across four functional areas — devices, connectivity, applications, and analytics — and nine distinct features. Still, a shakeout is imminent, and many startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises are at risk.

“In the coming years, most of the strong platform startups will be acquired by large ICT and industrial players, a process already underway, while the majority of the weaker startups will simply fail,” said Isaac Brown, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report titled, “The IoT Platform Shakedown.”

“Similarly, enterprise IoT initiatives will achieve mixed results with success depending on how well they navigate a steep learning curve,” he added.

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Lux Research analysts evaluated IoT platform products from 29 startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises and ranked them on the Lux Vendor Matrix. Among their findings:

  • Tech partnerships are key to platform strength. Nearly all the startups scored between 2.0 and 4.0 in technology strength on a scale of one to five, with a mean of 3.3. The mean of product maturity scores was 3.13, but the range was wider, with many scoring below 2.0 or above 4.0, contrasting with the more closely grouped tech scores. Technology partnerships were the strongest differentiating factor in technology strength scores.
  • Wide range of mature platforms available. The Lux Vendor Matrix revealed a range of platforms with mature and technically sound products, putting them in the upper right-hand “Engage” quadrant. Several platforms- ThingWorx, Jasper, Wyless, and SeeControl- have already been acquired, and many more are likely targets shortly. With two notable exceptions, platforms with connectivity management capabilities scored higher.
  • Acquisitions top $2 billion in 2016. Venture capital firms and corporate groups have poured billions of dollars into IoT platforms. The 29 platforms evaluated in this study have raised $500 million, led by Jasper Technologies with $192.4 million. The value of IoT platform acquisitions has topped $2 billion in 2016 alone.

The “The IoT Platform Shakedown” report is part of the Lux Research Industrial Internet of Things Intelligence service.

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