Chicago startup Konekt recently announced a $1.3 million funding round that included support fromNextView Ventures, Mucker Capital, Tyler Willis’ AngelList Syndicate, and Groupon founders Chris Muhr and Raj Ruparell.
Konekt provides a platform for connecting devices to the Internet of Things via GSM band cellular networks supporting HSPA, GPRS, and SMS. Its “global SIM card” is a single component that can connect a device to the Internet, anywhere in the world using what they call a SMS-over-IP solution that leverages the over-the-air data service and modern SMS gateway partners. Competition in this space as been heating up with some consolidations with Kore acquiring Raco Wireless earlier this year and new category entrants like Sigfox and Helium for wide area networks.
Cellular networks have advantages over short-range radio protocols like Wi-Fi, especially when it comes to devices that are constantly moving or deployed over a wide area. It’s ideal for edge device communication which often involves sending only small amounts of data in sporadic bursts. For example someone could send a remote device an SMS to wake it up for management purposes. The company’s cloud services provide device management, data encryption, and a set of APIs.
Konekt’s data plans start at a dollar per month and allow devices to operate in 160 countries.