Home Depot Backs $50M Funding for Secure IoT Operating System
Afero has raised $50 million in Series C funding for an end-to-end IoT security platform that works from the moment devices are manufactured up to installation by the end user.
The round was led by cybersecurity, privacy and infrastructure-focused private equity firm Crosspoint Capital and also included home improvement retailer The Home Depot.
Afero’s operating system is designed to allow secure communication of data as it’s ferried from one IoT endpoint to another and back and forth from Afero’s hosted cloud services, not only protecting enterprise IoT but also smart home products like connected light bulbs and thermostats.
Its turnkey nature means that it can be customized to the enterprise’s requirements at the start of the development, rather than implementers working to build an operating system after the device is manufactured.
As well as smart home products, Afero’s product can be installed on smart tracking sensors in the supply chain, providing data security for everything from vaccines which must be kept at cool temperatures to food journeying in cross-country freight trucks.
The solution also runs on a low or no-code basis which Afero says offers a unified user experience across a wide range of IoT connectivity protocols, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and voice activation.
Every new device extends the connected perimeter of both enterprises and households, and opens more space for cyber attackers to broker access to sensitive information.
Home Depot worked with Afero before investing in its most recent financing round. The operating system comes installed on every device in Home Depot’s smart home offering, marketed under the HubSpace banner.
The retailer selected Afero for one of its Innovation Awards earlier this year.
“The Home Depot’s partnership with Afero has allowed us to provide a reliable smart home solution to our customers,” said Jim Hovis, Home Depot’s senior vice president of merchandising, building materials.
The round brings Afero’s lifetime funding to $100 million since it was founded in 2014, according to Crunchbase. The total includes a $20 million series A investment in 2016 from Softbank, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Presidio Ventures, Sanshin Electronics, Fenox Venture Capital, Assembly Partners and Robert Dobkin.
“Repurposing and reducing traditional operating systems such as Linux is not a viable path to support the wide range of IoT devices that consumers and businesses want to buy,” said Hugh Thompson, managing partner of Crosspoint Capital, who is expected to join Afero’s board of directors. “Afero offers a purpose-built end-to-end platform that allows developers to quickly and elegantly deploy connectivity, cloud-based management and mobile app control with security at the core of their architecture.”