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Investment, Private Equity

China’s Sunsea Co-Leads $60M Round In US IoT Firm Ayla Networks

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Hong Kong-based Run Liang Tai Fund and China’s Sunsea Telecommunications Co., Ltd have led a US$60 million series D round in Ayla Networks, a U.S.-based Internet of Things (IoT) company.

As part of the financing round, Ayla is partnering with Sunsea, a Chinese telecom company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, to enter and expand its presence in the Chinese IoT market. Ayla and Sunsea IoT, a subsidiary of Sunsea, plan to establish a joint venture named Ayla Sunsea to sell and deliver Ayla’s IoT offerings to customers in China.

“Ayla is the leading global provider of enterprise-grade IoT Platform-as-a-Services. We are partnering with Ayla based on our companies’ shared beliefs about the needs and promise of the Chinese IoT market,” said Ping Liu, chairman of Sunsea. “Ayla’s extensive IoT expertise and success with Chinese manufacturers complements Sunsea’s deep telecommunications proficiency and local relationships position the joint venture to become a premier IoT provider in China and provide a compelling solution to best serve our local customers.”

Founded in 2010, Ayla’s IoT platform connects devices, clouds and applications to provide secure connectivity, data analytics and helps manufactures to turn their products into smart connected systems. Its early focus has been in markets such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), large and small appliances, water management and home control. More recently, the company has expanded into serving large retail, industrial, telco and service provider, and medical markets.

The amount of data flooding into the company’s platform is growing at five times year-on-year, the company claims.

“Ayla has established itself as a leader in IoT technology, and it has established a solid presence in global markets,” said Sean Cai, partner at Run Liang Tai, in a company announcement. “We invested in Ayla to help them continue their product leadership and enable them to grow much faster.”

In June 2016, Ayla raised a US$39 million series C round led by China’s Ants Capital, 3NOD Digital Group Co., Ltd with participation from Cisco Investments, Crosslink Capital, International Finance Corp., Linear Venture, SAIF Partners, Oriza Ventures, SJF Ventures and Voyager Capital. Two years prior, it completed a US$14.5 million series B financing round from Cisco, IFC, Linear, SAIF and SJF.

The company plans to use the latest proceeds to further expand its product capabilities to help large enterprises extract IoT data and transform it into business intelligence, and to expand its ecosystem network of partners and application providers.

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