FogHorn, which provides data analytics software for industrial and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) applications, announced today that is has secured $30 million in funding. Intel Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures co-led this round, with new investor Honeywell Ventures joining in. All previous investors also participated, including March Capital, GE, Dell, Bosch, Yokogawa, Darling Ventures, and The Hive.
“In the industrial application of IoT, such as manufacturing facilities, oil and gas production sites, and transportation systems, there are often hundreds or thousands of physical and video/audio sensors continuously producing a massive amount of high velocity data,” wrote FogHorn CEO David King, in an email to VentureBeat. “This data is being collected at the network ‘edge’, what Cisco coined the ‘fog’ layer several years ago.”
Edge computing is a method of optimizing cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data. According to King, industrial operators face several challenges when collecting and processing data, including a high volume of data-collecting sources, high costs in transporting this data in the cloud, and limits to real-time insights.
While latency may be fine when you are conversing with Amazon’s Alexa, having a delayed response to a gas leak could be extremely dangerous.
FogHorn’s Lighting platform has been purpose-built to run in very small footprint (256MB or smaller) edge computing systems. “The reason this is important is that the vast majority of data streaming from IoT sensors is useless within a very short period of time,” wrote King. “The information that is valuable — the anomalies and hard-to-detect patterns — need to be acted upon while operators can take corrective action.”
FogHorn licenses its software on a subscription basis to dozens of customers, according to King. The chief executive does not see any direct competitors focusing solely on tapping into streaming edge data for analytics, machine learning, and AI. “Amazon Greengrass and Microsoft Azure Edge are now targeting the edge with reduced footprint versions of their heavy cloud software stacks, but both still send most data to the cloud for advanced data science functionality,” he added.
The investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures should secure FogHorn’s foothold in Saudi Arabia, which is one of the world’s biggest oil producers.
“Given the heavy presence of oil and gas, we expect it to be a large market in the future,” wrote King. “By partnering with Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, we’re just beginning our reach into this market.”
To date, FogHorn has raised a total of $47.5 million. The Mountain View, California-based startup will use the fresh injection of capital to hire more engineers and increase sales and marketing efforts.
Founded in 2014 as part of The Hive incubator, FogHorn currently has more than 40 employees.