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Opinion: Europe's Emerging IoT Scene and Six Startups to Watch

The IoT revolution is gathering pace, impacting people's lives and the way they interact with the everyday 'things' around them. According to Cisco's 11th annual Visual Networking Index: Global IP Traffic Forecast Update, the number of connected devices will have grown nearly 2.5-fold, from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 12.2 billion by 2020, when global IoT spending is predicted to have reached $1.29tr, as outlined in a new IDC Internet of Things Spending Guide.

The European IoT startup scene in particular is a hotbed of innovation, attracting the interest of VC and angel investors. While continental IoT hubs have yet to be established - Barcelona and London look set to be the first - in almost every European country there are IoT startups that people are talking about.

H&D Wireless
One of Sweden’s fastest growing high-tech start-ups, H&D Wireless is an IoT cloud and platform system provider for homes and businesses. Since its launch in 2009, the Stockholm-based company has shipped more than a million Wi-Fi units for smart home and wireless multimedia solutions across the globe, and won a number of awards, including a Red Herring Global 100 listing.

Last year, H&D Wireless secured $3m in investment from the Blasieholmen Investment Group and its network of Swedish and European private entrepreneurs and investors. The money will fund the firm’s continued global expansion and the launch of a new IoT cloud platform that allows B2B cashless payments and location tracking services. H&D Wireless has also announced plans for an IPO on NASDAQ First North this year.

British IoT startup Evrythng has developed a smart products platform that allows product manufacturers to connect their consumer products to the Web. The platform allows them to track their goods through the supply chain, as well as manage data and analytics relating to those goods along the way. The consumer can also use the Evrythng platform to interact with these products, for example, to find out how they were made, and also to access things like loyalty and reward points. Launched in the UK in 2012, the company now has offices in London, New York, and San Francisco. Its total funding to date is $34.8m, which includes the recent Series B round of $24.8m, led by Sway Ventures. Other backers include Cisco Investments, Samsung, Atomico, BHLP, Cisco and Dawn Capital.

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