2,888 businesses building the Internet of Things employ 342,000 workers, have raised $125 billion in funding, and have created $613 billion in value.
95 of them are now unicorns: billion-dollar startups.
Spoke Intelligence and ReadWrite, an IoT-focused publication and accelerator, just released their inaugural IoT Revolution handbook, and the numbers are very, very significant. 2,748 companies in the U.S. alone, plus another 140 in Canada, make the IoT scene in North America. (Disclosure: I am an unpaid advisor with a small equity stake in ReadWrite Labs. I did not participate in this research.)
IoT is the “internet of things,” a blanket term for adding intelligence and connectivity to products and sensors. Personally, I prefer the term smart matter, the future result of adding three things to all products and environments: chips, radios, and sensors.
Ultimately, we’re “smartifying” and connecting everything and every thing … giving all things the ability to sense, to act, to control themselves, to be controlled by humans, and to impact their environment.
Current investment focus
The lion’s share of the firms are in one predictable state, California, where no less than 1,345 companies provide IoT solutions. (Note that while companies on the list sell IoT products and services, many of them also provide other products.)
More interesting than the total numbers, perhaps, are the places where entrepreneurs and investors are placing their bets. More than a quarter of the companies are in just five categories:
- AI and machine learning (401 companies)
- Connected home (282 companies)
- Healthcare – Enterprise (240 companies)
- Facilitative reality (216 companies)
- Data security (208 companies)
These categories make sense: AI and machine learning are essential to not only processing but also accelerating decision-making on the flood of information that IoT appliances and sensors are creating. The connected home is the low-hanging fruit of IoT — consumer IoT — that enables people to monitor and control their home and media.