The M2M/IoT world saw a second major consolidation in March in as many months when KORE Wireless Group announced it was acquiring IoT platform provider Wyless Group Holdings for an undisclosed sum. The move follows the acquisition of Jasper, the major IoT platform provider for mobile operators, by tech giant Cisco in February for $1.4bn.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory and other consents, and is expected to close in early Q2, 2016. Following the completion of the transaction, the combined KORE and Wyless company will have 350, maintain a customer base of more than 3,000 B2B companies globally, and serve in excess of six million active devices on behalf of those customers. Both companies have been involved in the M2M market since 2003.
The organisation becomes one of the six largest providers of M2M/IoT services globally, inclusive of carriers. Jasper claims to be the largest platform provider with nearly 3,500 companies using its services. Other major platforms include those of Ericsson and Vodafone.
The combined business will have extensive physical presence and data centre operations in Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to support customers across the globe. KORE’s was largely confined to the US before.
Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO at Beecham Research, which specialises in the IoT sector, commented: ‘The combined business will have considerably more direct M2M connections than most mobile network operator (MNO) M2M business units worldwide and will be the largest independent M2M network provider worldwide, certainly in terms of revenue.
‘Both companies have also made significant acquisitions along the way. One of these for Wyless was Aspider M2M in the Netherlands and for KORE it was the acquisition of RACO Wireless in November 2014. Whereas the acquisition of RACO was almost entirely US-centric, Wyless adds both a European and a Latin American dimension. The overall company is now much more international in its scope.’
Duke-Woolley continued: ‘This move is significant for several reasons. First up, there are not many MNOs who are generating M2M revenue at this level. It confirms that the independent reseller market has a great future at both the national and international level. Beecham Research’s own data shows that these resellers have in fact been growing at a faster rate than the MNOs over the last few years – both in connection numbers and in revenue terms.
Duke-Woolley said that uppermost in KORE management’s mind has been the transition to software services – data collection and effective processing of that data to add new value services on top of connectivity and device management.
However, he cautioned that connectivity must not be taken for granted in the new IoT world.
‘As we get to rely more and more on the data from a rapidly increasing population of connected devices and sensors, the need to ensure that there is no discontinuity in those connections also gets stronger. Contrary to some popular assumptions, connectivity is not a ‘done deal’ and is not heading to be a commodity any time soon,’ he argued.