What You Missed in The IoT: Week of 10/13

Players Move Beyond Traditional LOBs

Active Areas in Harbor’s Smart Systems Taxonomy: Transportation, Energy, Manufacturing, Retail and Oil & Gas

What Happened: Multiple players expanded portfolios via partnership and acquisition to strengthen footholds in emerging markets. Specifically, last week saw Emerson broaden its Data Collection and Management portfolio to bolster its PlantWeb ecosystem, while Shell made a push in the Electric Charging market with the acquisition of NewMotion.

Why It Matters: These player movements are indicative of a broader trend in Smart Systems as of late, where incumbents are forced to extend their reach into areas of opportunity as historical markets are pressured by heightened competition. This trend is driving up the appeal of niche startups in new growth markets, Harbor expects these players to come under increasing acquisition pressures as incumbents look to quickly build footholds in untapped segments to edge out historical competitors.

Harbor’s Featured Content for This Week:

Future Perfect Platform

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Player Events In Focus

Shell Buys Into EV Charging Market


Smart Systems Taxonomy: TransportationEnergy

What It Is: Shell acquires NewMotion, an electric charging station company.

Why It Matters: This acquisition signifies a trend in gas suppliers entering the electric charging market. Chain gas stations already have the infrastructure to add charging stations and are preparing to curtail losses from the movement away from gas cars.

Emerson Acquires GeoFields, Inc.


Smart Systems Taxonomy: ManufacturingOil & Gas

What It Is: Emerson acquired GeoFields, a supplier of software for oil pipeline data collection and management.

Why It MattersThe acquisition expands Emerson’s extensive pipeline management capabilities. GeoField’s will be integrated on top of Emerson’s existing PlantWeb ecosystem, adding immediate value by filling gaps in Emerson’s portfolio, enabling Emerson to focus R&D investment on different innovations.

Target & Google Partner on Voice Shopping


Smart Systems Taxonomy: Retail & Commercial Services

What It Is:  Target and Google announced that they are expanding a years-old delivery partnership to the entire continental U.S., allowing owners of the Google Home “smart” speaker to order items through voice commands, similar to that of Amazon’s Echo.

Why It Matters:  One voice-shopping or AR partnerships won’t be the difference between thriving or failing in an increasingly Amazon-led world. But a series of smart partnerships over several years between Google and big retailers will give both sides the best chance at fighting back.

Additional Player Movements From Last Week

Pontifax AgTech Closes Fund I on $105m

What did they do? Pontifax launched last year with four investments in its portfolio across agtech categories, and they recently raise $105mm for their first fund. 

Why does it matter? The fund, which invests at the growth equity stage of a startup’s life — likely Series B stage or later — is targeting a relatively short timeline for investments of between three and five years, although in the case of Blue River it was even shorter at 20 months, said Phil Erlanger, cofounder of Pontifax AgTech.

Materialise Acquires ACTech, Manufacturer of Complex Metal Parts

What do they do?  ACTech is a German company producing limited runs of highly complex metal parts, and Materialise is an image processing and 3D modeling software company that’s making the push into additive manufacturing. 

Why does it matter? Materialise is aiming to enhance its ability to offer complete manufacturing solutions for unique components additively manufactured in metal. The deal brings together the knowledge and experience Materialise has in metals, additive manufacturing and software, with the comprehensive metal manufacturing offering of ACTech.

Vacuum Cleaner Company Dyson Is Building an Electric Vehicle

What It Is: Dyson is building an electric car, the company revealed last week, and now we know a bit more about their specific plan to bring one to market. Dyson won’t look to partner, and will instead build the vehicle hardware from the ground up itself.

Why It Matters: While this is probably an outlier, it shows the angles from which traditional OEMs are having to fend off non-traditional competition. With practically every OEM making public statements on a future of EVs, it will be interesting to watch the customer adoption of non-traditional EVs against the traditional players.

Harbor tracks, organizes, and profiles hundreds of technology players across the Internet of Things ecosystem. Our tracking and intelligence platform informs our clients on market business models, relationships and ecosystems to help define competitive differentiation and market positioning. Use our mapping tools to help inform your partnership, acquisition or solution delivery strategies.

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