Rakon talks up IoT opportunities

Thinxtra secures $A20m Series B funding

Rakon is talking up its ambitions in the burgeoning Internet of Things market on the back of Thinxtra, the Australian and New Zealand operator of the Sigfox wireless network for IoT in which Rakon has a 42 percent stake, securing $A20m in Series B funding.

$A10m has come from the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the other $10m from undisclosed sources.

Renald Gallis, Thinxtra’s VP ecosystem & marketing, told Computerworld NZ that, with the $A20m the company was now fully funded to finalise network rollout and opex for the next two years when it expects to reach profitability.

Rakon chairman, Bryan Mogridge, told the company’s AGM on 16 August that the $A20m valued Thinxtra at $A66.2m and reduced Rakon’s stake to 23 percent, but represented a 2.6 times increase in the value of its investment.

He said Rakon’s involvement in Thinxtra was already providing very useful information about the IoT space and would “allow Rakon inside knowledge that not only allows us to understand the Sigfox network system that Thinxtra uses, but the competing networks of LORA and NB-IoT. Rakon can build modules for all three IoT networks on a global basis.”

He noted that both these networks were beginning to arrive in Thinxtra’s areas of Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, saying this would drive an uplift in the market opportunity for machine to machine (M2M) communications.

“This coming market is huge by comparison to existing data networks, albeit at much lower prices,” he said. “This is fine for Thinxtra as an insurgent and a dedicated IoT network provider. We see sufficient room in the growing and very large market for all the main participants to earn a reasonable return on their investments.”

Mogridge said Thinxtra’s network has 70 percent of the Australian population Australia covered, 90 percent of New Zealand’s population covered and Hong Kong was going live next week with its first base station in a science-tech park that hosts 400 leading Asian Hi-Tech companies. The full rollout of Hong Kong will begin in October.

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