Sigfox said Wednesday it secured a $115 million round of financing. Investors include Telefonica, SK Telecom, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Elliott Management Corp. and GDF SUEZ, Air Liquide, Eutelsat. Labège, France-based Sigofx provides a cellular network dedicated to the Internet of Things.
LABEGE, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SIGFOX, the world’s premier provider of a cellular network dedicated to the Internet of Things, today announced it has secured a record $115 million round of financing from strategic and financial investors in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
The SIGFOX network is the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to provide two-way connectivity to billions of objects. Incorporated in 2009, SIGFOX has pioneered the Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) connectivity space and has become a reference player in IoT.
Following the deployment in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and soon the United States, SIGFOX will use this new equity round to accelerate its worldwide network roll-out in Europe, Asia and the Americas with the support of international telecom operators (Telefonica, SK Telecom and NTT DOCOMO Ventures), a leading financial sponsor (Elliott Management Corporation) and industrial partners (GDF SUEZ, Air Liquide and Eutelsat). These new partners join the existing financial investors that have been SIGFOX’s shareholders since 2011.
“This record $115 million round is a significant step in the development of our network’s coverage all around the world. The trust of our investors and the dynamism of SIGFOX’s team allow us to strengthen our position as the world leader in IoT communications,” said Anne Lauvergeon, SIGFOX’s chairman.
This strategic investment, which includes leading mobile network operators, clearly demonstrates how SIGFOX’s two-way low-throughput network complements existing high-bandwidth networks. The company sees a clear path towards unifying them in a single network, allowing always-efficient connectivity from both energy and throughput standpoints.
The participation of Elliott Management Corporation bears testimony to the huge value-creation potential in the IoT sector, especially for leading players in the field like SIGFOX. “Elliott is very pleased to be part of this equity round in the leading IoT dedicated-network company,” the firm said in a statement. “We look forward to contributing actively to SIGFOX’s deployment in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Besides the value and the operational know-how brought by its new telecom partners, SIGFOX will also benefit from the help and experience of leading global industrial players to enable large-scale deployments of connected devices and sensors. The presence of these leading players, alongside its telecom partners, will be SIGFOX’s most valuable asset to sell innovative IoT offers.
For GDF SUEZ, the SIGFOX offer will enable new developments in the fields of energy management, energy efficiency and sustainable cities: three priority areas in the Group’s innovation strategy.
ALIAD, the corporate venture capital arm of Air Liquide Group, said in a statement that “SIGFOX’s technology and network, thanks to its significant deployment, perfectly suits our needs for a part of our ‘smart’ devices, especially in terms of energy efficiency for long-distance communication.”
“Eutelsat’s investment in SIGFOX signals our conviction that satellites can accelerate the development of the IoT market, both in terms of reach and reliability,” said Jean-Hubert Lenotte, director of strategy at Eutelsat. “Eutelsat is constantly looking at innovative developments that push back the boundaries of our markets, add value for our customers and anchor satellites in an increasingly connected economy. SIGFOX has assembled a unique and compelling solution for the IoT market. We look forward to contributing to their growth and participating in their experience and entrepreneurial development.”
Existing financial investors, Elaia Partners, iXO PE, Partech Ventures and Idinvest, confirmed their support for the company and its management by reinvesting significantly in the current round. Bpifrance also strengthened its holding in SIGFOX and confirmed its commitment to the company through its Ambition Numérique (Digital Ambition) and Large Venture funds. “We strongly believe SIGFOX can be a future global player in the Internet of Things, and we are delighted to accompany its growth and increase our investment,” said Paul-François Fournier, director of innovation at Bpifrance.
“Since creating the LPWA space three years ago, SIGFOX has become the leading global solution for IoT connectivity,” said Ludovic Le Moan, CEO of SIGFOX. “This investment round recognizes those achievements and highlights the company’s potential to become the worldwide standard for small-message-based connectivity.”
The round comprises a first close of $93 million and a “greenshoe” of $22 million that will allow new strategic partners to join the share capital of SIGFOX in the next few months. Lazard acted as financial advisor to SIGFOX, with Granrut Avocats acting as legal advisor.
SIGFOX is the premier provider of dedicated cellular connectivity for Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications. The company’s network complements existing high-bandwidth systems by providing economical, energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data, thus lowering barriers to wide implementation of IoT and M2M solutions, and greatly extending the battery and service life of connected devices. SIGFOX’s global network is deployed through the SIGFOX Network Operator™ partnership program, with more than 2 million square kilometers already covered. The company is headquartered in Labège, France, and has offices in Mountain View, Calif., and Madrid, Spain.
For more information, see www.SIGFOX.com and follow us on Twitter @SIGFOX.
Created in 2012, Air Liquide Venture Capital (ALIAD) is the Air Liquide Group’s venture capital investor. ALIAD’s minority stakes support the growth of innovative start-ups and encourages the establishment of R&D and/or business agreements between these young start-ups and other entities of the Group.
Bpifrance, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts and French State, trusted partner of entrepreneurs, supports companies, from seed capital to the stock exchange, in credit, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance provides further services and support for innovation, acquisitions and export, in partnership with UBIFRANCE and Coface. Bpifrance offers companies a continuum of financing for each key stage of their development and specific support in regards to regional specificities. With 42 regional offices (90% of decisions taken in region), Bpifrance is a tool for economic competitiveness for entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts in support of public policies pursued by the State and by the Regions to meet three objectives:
• support the growth of SMEs
• prepare future competitiveness
• contribute to the development of a favorable ecosystem for entrepreneurship.
With Bpifrance, companies benefit from a powerful contact point, close and efficient to meet all of their financial needs, innovation and investment.
For more information, see www.bpifrance.fr and follow us on Twitter @bpifrance.
About Elaia Partners
Elaia Partners was founded in 2002 as an independent private equity boutique focused on Digital Economy. Elaia Partners currently manages more than $145 million mainly through Elaia Ventures, a French FCPR fund backed by a diverse range of LPs – financial institutions, industrials and family offices – and through funds delegated by Omnes Capital, 123Venture and Neotec as well as through a seed investment fund, Elaia Alpha, raised in 2012 and dedicated to the investment in early stage companies in the digital economy. Elaia Partners was the lead investor of the first round raised by SIGFOX in 2011.For more information, see www.elaia.com and follow us on Twitter: @elaia_partners.
About Elliott Management Corporation
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy hedge funds which combined have more than $25 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest hedge funds under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm.
For more information, see www.elliottmgmt.com.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world’s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 35 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 32 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service
For more information, see www.eutelsat.com.
About GDF SUEZ
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services. GDF SUEZ employs 147,200 people worldwide and achieved revenues of $81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).
In 2014, the Group launched GDF SUEZ New Ventures, a €100million investment fund dedicated to provide financing to innovative companies that share its strategic business orientation and have reached the pre-production development stage.
For more information, see www.gdfsuez.com
With $6 billion under management and 50 staff, Idinvest Partners is a leading pan-European manager focused on the middle market segment. Idinvest Partners has developed several complementary areas of expertise including investments in innovative European start-ups, primary, secondary and mezzanine investments in European non-listed companies, and private equity consulting. Founded under the name AGF Private Equity in 1997, Idinvest Partners was formerly part of the Allianz Group until 2010 when it joined forces with IDI Group to become independent.
For more information, see www.idinvest.com.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, consumer Internet, digital media and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than $11 billion in over 1,400 companies in 57 countries. In that timeframe, 210 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world, and 366 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2014, Intel Capital invested $359 million in 125 deals, including 59 new investments.
For more information, see www.intelcapital.com and follow us on Twitter @Intelcapital.
About Ixo Private Equity
IXO Private Equity is an independent company 100 % held by its management team. It manages an asset portfolio in capital-investment of $570m. Funds made out from type FIP/FCPI’s public offer represent $220m. FPCI’s funds (ex FCPR) mainly signed by institutional investors represent, as for them, $350m. Located in Toulouse and Marseille, IXO Private Equity invests equity amounts between $1m and $15m per project in PME located in the South of France (South-East – South-West).
For more information, see www.ixope.fr.
About NTT DOCOMO Ventures
NTT DOCOMO Ventures, a Corporate Venture Capital Unit for both NTT DOCOMO and NTT Holdings group, is operating DOCOMO Innovation Fund and NTT Investment Partners Fund, one is $100M size, the other is $150M size. We proactively enhance cooperation with exceptional entrepreneurs on a worldwide scale by providing hands-on incubation program, capital from our corporate venture funds and vast business development opportunities with the NTT Group companies.
NTT is a Japanese telecommunications company and one of the largest telecommunications groups in the world, owning more than 946 companies as subsidiaries worldwide. NTT DOCOMO is Japan’s largest mobile service provider, serving more than 63 million customers with high-quality and ultra-high-speed nationwide LTE network.
For more information, see www.nttdocomo-v.com/en.
About Partech Ventures
Partech Ventures is an investment company that specialises in fast-growing companies in the digital and information technology sectors with three different funds (Growth, Venture and Seed). The team, which has offices in Silicon Valley, Paris, and Berlin, has extensive experience in international corporate development. Over the course of its history, Partech Ventures has completed 21 initial public offerings, and more than 50 industrial disposals amounting to over $100 million for large international companies. The « Les Echos » daily business newspaper has awarded the company its prize for the best venture capital team, while Preqin, the independent research organisation, has just recognized Partech Ventures as one of the top ten global venture-capital funds on a world-wide scale, and the only European fund among the top 30 based on its performance.
For more information, see www.partechventures.com.
About SK Telecom
SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM, KSE: 017670), established in 1984, is Korea’s largest telecommunications company with more than 28 million mobile subscribers, accounting for over 50% of the market. The company reached KRW 17.164 trillion in revenue in 2014. As the world’s first company to commercialize CDMA, CDMA 2000 1x, CDMA EV-DO and HSDPA networks, SK Telecom launched the nation’s first LTE service in July 2011. SK Telecom also became the world’s first mobile carrier to commercialize 150Mbps LTE-Advanced in June 2013 and 225Mbps LTE-Advanced in June 2014 through Carrier Aggregation (CA). In line with its efforts to swiftly move towards the next-generation mobile network system, or 5G, it successfully commercialized 300Mbps tri-band LTE-A CA on December 2014. As of December 2014, the company has over 16.7 million LTE and LTE-Advanced subscribers. Based on its strength in network operations business, SK Telecom is seeking new growth engines in areas of platform, Big Data and convergence business.
For more information, see www.sktelecom.com.
Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation and number of customers. With its best in class mobile, fixed and broadband networks, and innovative portfolio of digital solutions, Telefónica is transforming itself into a ‘Digital Telco’, a company that will be even better placed to meet the needs of its customers and capture new revenue growth.
The company has a significant presence in 21 countries and a customer base of more than 316 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.
Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4.551.024.586 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.
For more information, see www.telefonica.com.