Investments in companies – 14.5.2019
Tesi and KPN Ventures join existing investors in supporting Wirepas on its growth trajectory
TAMPERE, Finland, — May 14th, 2019 — ETF Partners, Inventure, KPN Ventures, TESI (Finnish Industry Investment) and Vito Ventures have invested €14.4 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 €22 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.” welcomes 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.”, summarizes Teppo Hemiä, CEO at Wirepas.
Sjoerd Spanjer, investment director of KPN Ventures: “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”, comments Juha Lehtola, Tesi´s Director, Venture Capital.
EU enabling exceptionally significant financing rounds
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 midcap companies as equity investments.
”When we formed this co-investment platform with Tesi, this is the kind of investment we had in mind.” added 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-centralized 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 9 countries.
Teppo Hemiä, CEO – Wirepas, +358 50 561 0198, teppo.hemia(at)wirepas.com
Patrick Sheehan, Managing Partner – ETF Partners, +44 20 7318 0700, patrick(at)etfpartners.capital
Sami Lampinen, CEO – Inventure, +358 40 520 5295, sami(at)inventure.fi
Stijn Wesselink, Press Officer – KPN, +31 6-25074971, stijn.wesselink(at)kpn.com
Juha Lehtola, Director Venture Capital – Tesi, +358 400 647 671, juha.lehtola(at)tesi.fi
Benedikt von Schoeler, Managing Partner – Vito Ventures, +49 173 8669952, bene(at)vito.vc
Wirepas Mesh enables wireless IoT networking at massive scale. It is a de-centralized IoT network protocol that can be used to connect, locate and identify lights, sensors, beacons, assets, machines and meters in cities, buildings, industry, logistics and energy – with unprecedented scale, density, flexibility and reliability. It can be used on any radio hardware and on any frequency band. Wirepas has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland and offices in Australia, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the United States. Things connected – Naturally.
ETF Partners supports talented entrepreneurs and management teams with investment capital and experience. Our funds come from institutional investors, global corporations and family offices. We create value by investing in technology companies that make a difference. We call it ‘sustainability through innovation’. Environmental Technologies Fund and Environmental Technologies Fund 2 L.P. is supported by the European Union through the ‘Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme’ (CIP).
Sustainability through innovation – www.etfpartners.capital
Inventure is a Nordic technology fund backing early-stage entrepreneurs. Having the roots in Finland, the team enjoys domains many don’t feel comfortable with, and makes big bets on deep tech. The strong capital base of €250M allows Inventure to lead investments starting from initial seed-stage all the way through expansion. The team operates from offices in Helsinki and Stockholm.
KPN Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company. KPN Ventures aims to build value-creating partnership with innovative technology companies, providing access to capital, industry expertise, technical infrastructure, professional network and channels to customers. It focuses on direct and indirect (fund-in-fund) early-stage investments in the segments: Networking Technology, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Smart Home, Digital Healthcare, Video/OTT, Cloud and Data/AI. KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Tesi is a state-owned investment company that invests profitably and responsibly, creating value from day one. Tesi’s investments under management total EUR 1.2 billion and it has altogether more than 700 companies in portfolio, either directly or through funds. Tesi helps Finland to the next level of growth and internationalisation.
www.tesi.fi / www.dtg.tesi.fi / @TesiFII
Vito Ventures is one of Europe’s leading deep-tech investors. The early-phase investor is rooted in the German SME markets and boasts a unique network within European industry. The team has a comprehensive understanding of the deep-reaching technological change as well as the dynamics and requirements for both, established companies as well as start-ups.