Vodacom bolsters IOT strategy with acquisition

Read time 3min 10sec
IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn.
IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn.

Vodacom Group has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in IoT.nxt in a move that will significantly accelerate the operator's Internet of things (IOT) strategy and transform its dedicated IOT business unit.

Vodacom says it has identified IOT as a key strategic growth area for the group. This latest acquisition will enable Vodacom to operate across the full IOT value chain and develop best-in-class solutions for clients across a number of industry verticals, the telco says.

IoT.nxt develops technology and is an end-to-end IOT solutions provider with operations in the US, Europe and SA.

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub says: "In addition to accelerating Vodacom's Internet of things strategy, our investment in IoT.nxt brings a number of advantages to Vodacom's existing IOT capability, including class-leading platform technology.

"For example, this will allow us to better orchestrate the information obtained from sensors and edge devices as well as enable us to further scale our IOT business across multiple verticals as we move up the value-chain. Vodacom will continue to seek strategic acquisition opportunities to drive ongoing investment in the IOT sector and to become the digitalisation partner of choice for enterprise clients and customers."

IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn says: "This partnership is incredibly exciting for IoT.nxt. It allows us to combine the power of our technology and the considerable strength of Vodacom's capabilities, footprint and brand.

"Vodacom has critically evaluated many platforms globally, and has had operational success in projects with us, so this partnership resulted from these wins. IoT.nxt delivers significant technical differentiation and allows Vodacom to leverage the technology across all industries, allowing for both scalability and rapid time-to-market. Vodacom's investment will provide us with the freedom to expand our business vision while we build a class-leading product that will be sold globally, through multiple channels, including Vodacom's competitors."

Vodacom notes IoT.nxt's innovative edge technology and end-to-end platform is business transformative.

It adds that the combination of its protocol-agnostic information layer and its flexible architecture allows for rapid solution development and the realisation of benefits. Vodacom has deployed this technology in its base stations, which will result in significant energy savings.

Talent10 provided the funding for the establishment of IoT.nxt in late 2015 and invested a further R100 million in 2017 for the opening of its European office in The Hague. Talent10 is a major current shareholder in the company.

Talent10 Holdings CEO Wayne Fitzjohn says: "Co-founding IoT.nxt has proved to be one of our most significant decisions to date. It was clear within months that this IOT tech start-up had a world-leading solution.

"We made a further investment of R100 million in 2017 to allow the company to expand internationally. This transaction with Vodacom confirms our belief in the unique solutions which IoT.nxt develops and we are looking forward to an even more exciting journey ahead with the founders and our new partner, Vodacom."

The significant investment by Vodacom will allow IoT.nxt to further commercialise a number of its vertical solutions into off-the-shelf products while continuing its core development and innovation of the platform. IoT.nxt's experienced management team will continue to run the company, working closely with Vodacom's IOT business, which is led by Vodacom Business chief officer William Mzimba.

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