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After announcing its flagship product and new standard in May, Wirepas has announced an injection of funds to accelerate the development of what it claims is the world’s first purpose-built non-cellular 5G technology.
The Finnish company says it is on a mission to change enterprise internet of things (IoT) and its new 5G standard means that for the first time, any business of any size will finally be able to digitise its business with reliable and affordable 5G connectivity.
Wirepas technology is designed to allow any enterprise to set up and manage its own autonomous network without operators, separate network infrastructure, middlemen or subscriptions at what it claims is a fraction of the cost of other technologies.
Wirepas also stands as the main contributor to the first non-cellular 5G standard, purpose-built for massive IoT using a free global spectrum. The technology allows industries to run their own independent IoT systems and develop new services around their own expertise and business domain.
It also enables them to store and consume the data generated in a way that best suits their business model – such as on-premise or public cloud – in order to “democratise” data ownership.
The company says the demand for affordable networks is high for businesses looking for scalable, high-density applications in a multitude of areas, such as smart meters, building management systems, logistics and smart cities. More specifically, the firm’s technology is designed to assist in the urbanisation, building and energy consumption in the construction of these smart cities. This, it says, is also likely to open up opportunities for new use cases, scaling at mass the levels of communication for the future.
Wirepas said it is currently seeing increased interest and demand from partners and customers to bring the product to market. Its current offering, Wirepas Massive, a large-scale mesh connectivity software for massive IoT, is already seeing use at more than 200 clients, including Fujitsu, Prologis, Wurth, Schaeffler, Orange and Fagerhult.
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The €10m cash injection will be used to strengthen Wirepas’ longer-term research and to further develop the massive IoT technology. The company will also be hiring with a focus on development, testing and delivery, all aspects needed to successfully bring the technology to market.
“Thanks to the great market interest and lead customers’ fast time-to-market targets, we have decided to accelerate the first non-cellular 5G product development,” said Wirepas CEO Teppo Hemiä. “We knew our solution was special and the need has become even more apparent and urgent over the past several months. This new injection of funds will help us continue to do what is in our customers’ best interest, and that is getting it done efficiently and as soon as possible. We target to have the commercial launch in 2022.”
Existing investors Karma.vc and Tesi led the new funding round, and Karma partner Tommi Uhari said: “Karma focuses on deep tech and the impact it can have. Wirepas, with its solid team, technical strength, massive traction and amazing steps in 5G, is in an ideal phase to benefit from more funding. We are convinced that Wirepas is changing the IoT landscape for ever.”
Juha Lehtola, head of direct venture capital investments at Tesi, added: “This is exactly what an investor hopes to see. We knew Wirepas had a great read on the needs of its clients and industries that have been struggling to find a solution that truly works for them. We are excited to see the technology deployed and its true impact realised.”