$35M in new funding raised for battery-free wireless sensors

Everactive, a technology company that sells category-defining batteryless, wireless Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, announced today it closed a $35 million funding round  led by Fluke Corporation, the mainstay in industrial test and measurement.

The round also added new investors 40 North Ventures (a venture fund focused on industrial innovation), TOP Ventures (venture arm of Thaioil Group), and Asahi Kasei Corporation, signaling the strength of Everactive’s value proposition across a wide array of industries.

The new funding will be used to accelerate sales, marketing, and product development in the industrial sector, where the company is building a significant customer base for its end-to-end monitoring solutions.

The new investors joined existing investors including New Enterprise Associates, which counts former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as a Venture Partner and key advisor to its portfolio of industrial companies.

“The industrial sector has eagerly awaited the data explosion promised by IoT solutions, but has been continually let down,” said Immelt.  “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.”

Enabling Pervasive Remote Monitoring

Everactive’s end-to-end monitoring solutions target high-volume industrial assets that are currently unmonitored or under-monitored precisely because they exist in such high volume.  Indeed, most plants are unwilling to place battery-powered sensors on thousands of motors, pumps, compressors, or steam traps; the logistical cost of adding thousands of items to a maintenance list is not only prohibitive, but also defeats the cost-saving purpose of those very sensors.

The company’s bet is that removing the battery from the equation will enable the types of pervasive monitoring deployments long imagined, while cost-effectively digitizing thousands of physical assets across a plant to maximize uptime, optimize maintenance costs, and improve environmental, health and safety.

“Batteries represent a real barrier to deploying IoT at scale because of the inevitable replacement problem, especially in hard to reach areas.” said Andres Bejarano, Technical Director, Global Home Care at Colgate-Palmolive Company.  “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.”

By offering its solutions as-a-service—packaging everything from the hardware through the data analytics—Everactive abstracts away the upfront costs and complicated integrations often associated with similar offerings.

Bridging a Growing Skills Gap

The advent of scalable IIoT technology comes at a much-needed time in American manufacturing as a growing “skills gap” leaves fewer workers with the knowledge and experience to keep the manufacturing industry moving. New technology like Everactive offers a toolset to supplement manufacturing workers so that they can do more with less.

“Remote monitoring capability is rapidly shifting from nice-to-have to absolutely critical,” said 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.”

Spun out of the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia in 2012, Everactive develops self-powered IoT systems. Leveraging its proprietary ultra-low-power semiconductors, which require 1,000x less power than competing circuits, Everactive’s sensor devices generate enough power from small amounts of “harvested energy” to continuously measure, process, and wirelessly transmit equipment and infrastructure health data from a range of industrial assets.

Everactive Steam Trap Monitoring (STM) and Machine Health Monitoring (MHH) customers include multinational companies such as 3M, Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey’s, and Merck, to name a few, as well as several universities and the U.S. government.