We used CB Insights’ database in order to visualize the connections between the most active investors in the industrial internet of things.

The industrial IoT (IIoT) accounted for more than one-third of all IoT investment last quarter. But while the Industrial side of IoT is taking an increasing share of funding, the startup ecosystem in this category is still a nascent one. More than half of all deals in the past 5 quarters were seed or Series A stages.  

Interestingly, 4 out of the 5 most active investors in Industrial IoT were industrial tech giants’ corporate venture arms. With their core businesses relying on digitizing industrial processes, investing in IIoT startups obviously offers them immense strategic value. 

In order to visualize the connections between key players in IIoT, we used CB Insights’ Business Social Graph, which shows how top investors and target companies are related.  All of the investments shown were made in just 2015 and 2016 thus far (through 4/15/16).


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These most active investors included:

  • GE Ventures
  • Intel Capital
  • Cisco Investments
  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Qualcomm Ventures

See the full graphic below:

IIoT Final BSG Post

A couple of takeaways from the graph above:

  • GE Ventures is the most prolific investor in the space, with at least 10 IIoT companies in its portfolio.
  •  Two investors overlap in three companies shown above, Cisco Investments and GE Ventures have bet on Bit Stew Systems (industrial data collection and analysis); Cisco Investments and KPCB bet on IoT cloud platform Relayr; while KPCB and Intel Capital have bet on drone auto-piloting systems developer, Airware.
  • Robotics companies figure prominently in the graph. GE Ventures alone has bet on Rethink Robotics and Clearpath Robotics, along with machine intelligence-powered automated drilling system, Motive Drilling.

Want more data about top Internet of Things (IoT) investors? Log in to CB Insights, or sign up below.

Photo Credit: Steve Jervetson. Creative Commons License 2.0.