SAN JOSE, Calif.—Senet Inc. (Portsmouth, NH) will name its first two suppliers of LoRa network gateways next week, marking a milestone in its evolution into an independent service provider for the Internet of Things. For its next big leap, the company needs suppliers to roll out a variety of sensors certified for the network.
The company provides a picture of the accomplishments and struggles many companies face trying to deploy public IoT networks.
Founded in 2009 as EnerTrac, it initially focused on monitoring oil and propane tanks using a proprietary 433 MHz network. Eighteen months ago, a new chief executive took the company in a new direction, adopting the LoRa specification and setting a course as a broad IoT network services supplier.
The company did an evaluation of low power wide area (LPWA) networks. It chose LoRa in part because it allowed users to adopt any business model. At the technical level, LoRa provided strongest support for bi-directional traffic, nomadic devices and scalable networks, said Steve Ball, a spokesman for Senet.
Rivals Sigfox and Ingenu initially aimed to be service providers for their own technology, however both have now started partnering with third parties to deploy networks more quickly. Ingenu announced in February it signed 25 licenses enabling national networks run by third parties; Sigfox announced May 4 partnerships with as many as 100 site owners in the U.S.
EnerTrac is now Senet’s largest customer by units and revenue. Senet has sold 50,000 end nodes, 35,000 of them deployed so far across 125,000 square miles in three U.S. regions – the Northeast corridor from Maine to upstate New York, a Midwest patch around Iowa, Missouri and Ohio and the central California Valley.
The 35-person company secured $18 million in financing to deploy its current networks. It’s seeking a Series B funding to double its size and expanding into Canada and Mexico. While most of its users are agricultural, it also has emerging networks in San Francisco and Boston with more cities planned.
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