The annual Internet of Things wall chart update is here. This chart is bigger and better than ever – not just because Adafruit is highlighted as a Parts & Kits entry, but because the field is more diverse, more expressive, and more poised for opportunity than ever before. More logos means more companies means more people – humans! – making the Internet of Things more viable (and hopefully secure) than it was last year, or the year before. Of course 2018 also leaves room to grow (read below).
Some highlights from the report:
The promise of the IoT was always to create “smart” objects – it is certainly nice to get data from the physical world and gain more insights, but ultimately the whole point is to act on that data, ideally in an automated, real-time and intelligent way. This is exactly what AI enables.
If there was any remaining doubt that security is a major issue for the Internet of Things, the past 18 months have eliminated it entirely.
Worth noting, last summer a new bill was introduced – The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 – that set baseline IoT security standards for IoT devices sold to the government, including routers and security cameras (Krebs on Security). This was essentially an attempt to leverage the full weight of the Federal Government’s IT budget to send a clear signal to the IoT industry. The bill has not yet passed.
Not so long ago, most IoT startups were Seed or Series A companies. Some companies that have been able to scale are now tapping into growth stage money.
Meanwhile, the well has dried up a bit for Seed and Series A ventures. In 2016, about 73% of VC deals were at the Seed and Series A level; in 2017, this number dropped to 53%.