Everactive, an internet of things company in California that spun out of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Virginia in 2012, has closed a $35 million funding round. The company makes battery-free monitoring solutions.
The round was led by Fluke Corp., an industrial test and measurement company. The round also added new investors 40 North Ventures, TOP Ventures, and Asahi Kasei Corp. Existing investors included New Enterprise Associates.
The new funding will be used to accelerate sales, marketing, and product development in the industrial sector, where the company is working to build a customer base for its monitoring solutions.
“The industrial sector has eagerly awaited the data explosion promised by IoT solutions, but has been continually let down,” says Jeff Immelt, venture partner at New Enterprise Associates. “By eliminating the need for batteries, Everactive can offer extremely scalable and cost-effective solutions for generating the data streams required to reap the full benefits of IoT. With self-sustaining sensors, retrofitting thousands of pieces of legacy equipment across a plant or refinery becomes a reality.”
Everactive’s monitoring solutions target industrial assets that are unmonitored or under-monitored because they exist in high volume such as motors, pumps, compressors, or steam traps. The cost of adding thousands of sensors defeats the cost-saving purpose sensors offer.
The company is working to make monitoring more accessible by removing the battery from the system. The system includes everything from hardware through data analytics.
“Batteries represent a real barrier to deploying IoT at scale because of the inevitable replacement problem, especially in hard-to-reach areas,” says Andres Bejarano, technical director of global home care at Colgate-Palmolive Co. “Everactive’s batteryless approach changes the thought process about how many sensors we can install throughout our factories, which translates into an influx of new data to help us operate more efficiently.”
The solution is also designed to offset a skills gap that manufacturers are experiencing as technology outpaces workers’ knowledge. Everactive’s toolset is designed to supplement workers’ skills.
“Remote monitoring capability is rapidly shifting from nice-to-have to absolutely critical,” says Marc Tremblay, president of Fluke. “This evolution started with expertise gaps due to retirements and aging systems, but COVID-19 is accelerating this trend because companies must continue to function with fewer employees onsite while maintaining their critical assets.”
The company uses its ultra-lower-power semiconductors that generate enough power from small amounts of harvested energy to power its sensor devices, which continuously measure, process, and wirelessly transmit equipment and infrastructure health data from a range of industrial assets.
Everactive’s customers include 3M, Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey’s, and Merck, as well as universities and the U.S. government.