5 IoT Deals In 2014 Worth Remembering

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 01, 2014


The year 2014 can be said as a turning point for the Internet of Things (IoT) market which saw some interesting development, and gained attention from technology and telecom companies, PE firms and analysts. According to a report by Hampleton Partners, more than $9.4 billion has been spent since 2011 to help acquire IoT suppliers. Of that a whopping $5 billion of that spent this year alone, making the IoT space further exciting.

While a number of deals were struck by popular technology and telecom firms, many believe this is just the beginning as the industry has a long way to go, especially as researchers expect the market to reach $3 trillion, with 30-50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Here are top five deals in the 2014 that are worth mentioning

Google & Nest Labs

Google paid $3.2bn to buy Nest Labs, a maker of smart smoke alarms and thermostats for homes, back in January this year. The search giant already had a 12 percent stake in the company. It said that the deal would strengthen its smart products portfolio, while giving Nest Labs the opportunity to create more smart appliances and expand its reach in other countries.

After a few months, Google’s Nest Labs also acquired Wi-Fi video monitoring startup Dropcam for $555m in efforts to further expand the search giant’s home automation products. The San Francisco-based company, which has been making Wi-Fi enabled, home-monitoring cameras for the past five years.

Zebra Technologies & Motorola

Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer of barcode and RFID printers, declared the buyout of a unit of Motorola for $3.45bn. Both companies offer bar-code scanning and radio-frequency identification. Together they hope to combine their expertise to create a larger company that would specialize in tracking applications for everything from groceries to car parts.

Cisco & Tail-F Systems

Cisco announced it will buy Swedish firm called Tail-f for $175m to boost its network-management tools in the IoT space. Tail-f provides tools to help firms install, manage and maintain networks and applications running on top of the network.The deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. Cisco is also planning some more acquisitions and partnerships in the Iot space in the coming months, so as to “capture the ongoing market transitions of mobility, cloud and the Internet of Everything (IoE)” the company said in a statement.

Vodafone & Cobra Automotive

Vodafone completed its acquisition of Cobra Automotive Technologies becoming a provider of IoT car services. Together, Cobra and Vodafone will be able to provide automotive and insurance customers with significant benefits from our joint global scale and capabilities in telematics and managed M2M connectivity – to strengthen focus on connected car services. Cobra provides security and telematics software, which collects and analyses data from computer-controlled car systems, such as steering and brakes, to the automotive and insurance industries. Vodafone said the acquisition will expand its IoT growth strategy beyond connectivity by providing services on top of it.

Samsung & SmartThings

Samsung announced the acquisition of Internet of Things firm SmartThings that allows customers to sync their devices and IoT gadgets with a standalone smartphone application. Founded in 2012, the firm has some 5,000 developers building devices that connect to its open platform – that will move to Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto.

Samsung also announced it acquired 100% of Quietside for an undisclosed sum, which also manufacturers heaters – indicating its interest to enter the smart home business space.

In the coming years, researchers expect to see Intel, Texas Instruments, Juniper Networks, Johnson Controls and AT&T become more active in acquiring - and creating partnerships – in order to strengthen their IoT product lines. The infinite growth potential of IoT will present excellent opportunities for technology companies to plunge into the bandwagon.