Danish IoT startup Onomondo raises $21M to address IoT barriers and offers interoperable cross-border connectivity
The supply chain has become a global issue in recent months as China shut down Shanghai due to its zero-covid policy. But that’s just part of the problem. When you’re moving goods across the globe, every border becomes a barrier–an invisible line that presents real challenges to international trade and global collaboration.
Over the years, major technological advancements in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) have reduced these barriers. However, despite advances in hardware and cloud, the connectivity component of the IoT remains a stubborn barrier, with today’s approaches relying on a patchwork of telecom operators and expensive solutions that cannot be tailored. This patchwork means businesses cannot gain sufficient interoperability, visibility, or cost control over their connected assets on a global basis.
Enter Onomondo, a Danish tech startup that has redesigned existing connectivity architecture to create a single virtualized IoT network, without reliance on the traditional operator tech stack. Instead, the firm has integrated more than 700 operators across more than 180 countries, as well as layering its own API-based IoT platform on top to build a global IoT network and network management platform. Onomondo offers a pay-as-you-go model which is much more cost effective and can be tailored depending on what is appropriate for the use case. Its current customers include Bosch, Carlsberg, and Maersk.
Today, Onomondo announced it has raised $21 million in growth funding led by Verdane, with participation from existing investors: Maersk Growth, People Ventures, and The Danish Growth Fund. Onomondo will use the funding proceeds to accelerate growth in Europe with plans to triple Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in 2022 and 2023.
Founded in 2012 by Henrik Aagaard, Michael Bak, and Michael Karlsen, the Copenhagen, Denmark-based Onomondo is a global cellular operator for the Internet of Things, working to connect and simplify enterprise-grade connected services across the globe.
Devices connected to Onomondo contain an interoperable SIM card, meaning assets can seamlessly move across national borders without the inherent complexity of roaming. Data is transferred directly across the Onomondo virtual network to one of the firm’s cloud partners (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud and more), so enterprises can easily understand what is going on between devices and the network, through to the core network, and on to the IoT cloud from a single interface.
As a natural extension of the architectural redesign, Onomondo also redesigned its commercial offering to be unlike any offering existing today. As the platform includes a connectivity marketplace, enterprises can set priorities based on cost, coverage and performance, empowering the platform to automatically select the best operator in any given location, at any given time. This feature prevents operator lock-in by offering the freedom to control precisely which networks devices connect to, as well as giving enterprises the flexibility to balance the quality of coverage and cost-optimization, depending on the use case.
Michael Karlsen, Co-Founder & CEO, and Henrik Aagaard, Co-Founder & CTO at Onomondo commented: “It’s interesting how the attention in IoT has traditionally centered around Hardware and Cloud. Connectivity was the commodity added in the end. We see a clear shift now towards the market asking for more from their connectivity solution. This trend will dramatically heighten the success rate of IoT and lower both complexity and barriers to entry. All of this will eventually benefit both people, profit, and the planet. Onomondo and our recent momentum is a clear representation of this shift and we have found Verdane to be the perfect partner to help us deliver fully on this vision and accelerate our growth.”
This latest funding round has been led by Verdane, a leading growth equity investment firm that specializes in scaling digital consumer, software, and sustainable social businesses. Coupled with participation from existing investors, Onomondo will leverage the new funds to drive growth and meet its planned projection of tripling its ARR in 2022 and 2023. The company also plans to scale its team from 50 to 100 by the end of 2022, helping to expand its customer base, which currently includes the likes of Bosch, Carlsberg, and Maersk.
“Drawing from a deep understanding of traditional network infrastructure, Michael, Henrik and the Onomondo team is bringing a fresh, next-generation approach to the challenges the IoT market continues to face today,” Pål Malmros, Partner at Verdane concluded. “We are convinced that Onomondo’s solution has the potential to vastly accelerate global roll-out of IoT, as well as expand the total set of addressable use cases, and we look forward to partnering with the company to significantly accelerate the business’ expansion and growth internationally, drawing on the Verdane team’s experience from over 45 other software investments.”
Verdane has a strong record investing in tech-enabled businesses, including software, having been named the most active financial investor in Nordic software growth companies 2016-2020 in 2020 by PwC, and declared a Top 4 most active GP acquirer of Nordic-based companies by deal count 2015-2021 by Pitchbook in 2021. The firm currently holds over 30 software businesses in its portfolio, including companies like Nomentia, Eduhouse, Evondos, inriver, Danelec Marine, meister, Papirfly, Parkopedia, StudyTube, and Voyado.