PsiKick Rebrands to Everactive; Announces Next-Generation Products; Raises $30M to Grow Batteryless Solutions for Industrial Internet of Things
Proprietary chip design allows Everactive to power wireless sensors entirely from harvested energy, eliminate the need for batteries, and generate a new class of physical-world data.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – PsiKick, the company pioneering wireless, batteryless Internet of Things (IoT) systems, today announced it has changed its name to Everactive and closed a $30 million funding round, led by Future Fund and joined by new investors Blue Bear Capital and ABB Technology Ventures, alongside existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Osage University Partners. The company has raised $63 million to date.
“Removing the need for batteries solves one of the key limitations of the IoT and represents a fundamental paradigm shift, allowing our customers to deploy wireless sensors at scale and gain access to new, high-value data-driven insights,” said Bob Nunn, CEO of Everactive. “Over the last 18 months Everactive has productized our ultra-low-power silicon technology and developed a compelling go-to-market strategy that is now driving rapid customer adoption. Everactive will use the proceeds from the new round to meet the growing customer demand for our existing and future products.”
The implications of batteryless sensing are vast, enabling an explosion of connected data from the physical world that stands to dwarf today’s online data repositories, which are comprised primarily of user-generated, digitally native data (i.e., our collective web activity).
Everactive’s initial target market is the industrial sector, where collecting and analyzing data on physical equipment and infrastructure can have a profound and measurable impact—serving to reduce downtime, cut maintenance costs, improve safety and environmental impact, as well as boost overall efficiency.
Grant Allen, Head of Technology Ventures at ABB, says, “We have long been aware of the value of wireless sensing for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance but, in many environments, the logistics and economics of battery-powered sensors have not made sense. Everactive opens up a range of possibilities for truly maintenance-free sensing at broad scale and ABB is excited to deepen our partnership and introduce Everactive’s monitoring solutions to our customers.”
In late 2018, Everactive launched its first product, Steam Trap Monitor (STM), which is designed to continuously monitor the pervasive industrial and district energy steam trap in order to determine whether or not the trap has failed so that maintenance personnel can act to minimize costly energy waste and safety concerns. The batteryless approach to this multi-billion-dollar market has proven successful with customers. Gary Binstock, Supply Chain Innovation Director at Colgate-Palmolive, noted that, “Everactive batteryless sensors are extremely promising and will certainly be important to our business. We’ve already thought up a number of use cases and will hopefully evaluate many more.”
Currently in small-scale deployments, the company’s latest products include a Machine Health Monitor that analyzes vibration on rotating equipment, such as industrial motors, pumps, and fans. Everactive also offers a Flare System Monitor that mitigates the length and costs of flaring events in refineries. “The data insights derived from Everactive’s maintenance-free monitoring solutions will quantifiably improve companies’ asset optimization, operational efficiency, and environmental footprint throughout the energy sector,” explained Ernst Sack, Partner at Blue Bear Capital, a Houston- and Los Angeles-based investment firm focused on digital technologies within the global energy supply chain. “Moreover, the ability to extend Everactive’s technology to new products and markets was key to our investment thesis.”
According to Everactive investor and NEA Venture Partner, Greg Papadoupolous, “Everactive’s underlying technology is magical. They have innovated across the stack—from ultra-low-power chips and scalable networks, to adaptive edge-to-cloud analytics that optimize energy usage—to make batteryless sensors a reality.”
Everactive can eliminate batteries due to its underlying integrated circuit and wireless networking expertise. The company’s co-founders, Drs. Benton Calhoun and David Wentzloff, have been working on ultra-low-power electronics since their days together at MIT’s Electrical Engineering & Computer Science program. In subsequent years, as professors at the University of Virginia and University of Michigan, respectively, the two continued to collaborate until several key proof points prompted them to spin the company out of the two research institutions. Those proof points demonstrated the ability to continuously operate fully integrated circuits at up to 1/1,000th the power budget of commercially available chips, allowing them to power their devices exclusively from low levels of harvested energy—such as indoor light, small temperature differentials, and vibration.
On top of that core chip technology, Everactive has not only built its own self-powered sensor devices, but also all the networking, software, and cloud analytics to be able to deliver insights to customers. According to Nunn, “new data streams are important only insofar as customers receive value; we’re trying to make that as easy as possible by not just generating new data streams, but also providing the answer to the ‘so what?’ question about that raw data.”
Everactive produces data intelligence for the physical world. Operating without batteries, the company’s always-on wireless sensor networks deliver continuous cloud-based analytics at a scale not possible with battery-powered devices. Everactive’s end-to-end solutions are built upon groundbreaking advances in ultra-low-power circuit design and wireless communication that allow the company to power its Eversensors exclusively from harvested energy. The company has also developed the required networking and cloud software to deliver an out-of-the-box service focused on providing customers with valuable insights from its newly generated and self-sustaining data streams. Everactive has offices in Santa Clara, CA; Charlottesville, VA; and Ann Arbor, MI. For additional information, visit www.everactive.com.
About Future Fund
The Future Fund is Australia’s sovereign wealth fund. The Fund invests for the benefit of future generations of Australians. Future Fund was established in 2006 to strengthen the Australian Government’s long-term financial position. Every dollar that it makes is a dollar that adds to Australia’s wealth and contributes to its future. The Fund invests the assets of special purpose public asset funds: the Future Fund, DisabilityCare Australia Fund, Medical Research Future Fund, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Future Fund and two Nation-building Funds. Its role is to generate high, risk-adjusted returns over the long-term. Future Fund operates independently from Government and tailors the management of each fund to its unique investment mandate. The Fund is an intergenerational sovereign wealth fund, not a superannuation fund designed to allow the Australian Government to save today to meet the costs of tomorrow.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s market leading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. For additional information, visit www.abb.com.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $20 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm’s founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 220 portfolio company IPOs and more than 370 acquisitions. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.
About Blue Bear Capital
Blue Bear is a venture capital and growth equity firm driving digital technologies into multi-billion-dollar verticals across the energy industry. The team comes together from leading energy private equity firms and features technology expertise from the tech startup world alongside operational leadership from the NASA astronaut corps. Blue Bear’s portfolio covers AI, IoT, and cyber security technologies, all deployed with leading enterprise customers as they improve the economics of wind, solar, and storage while driving efficiencies across the energy industry. For additional information, visit www.bluebearcap.com
OUP invests in startups developing pioneering technologies in partnership with the top research institutions in the US and abroad. Since 2009, OUP has been the most active venture capital investor in university startups. Through a deep relationship with almost 100 universities, OUP has backed over 90 of the best and most exciting companies based on university research. OUP works with entrepreneurs, scientists, and students who are integral to the university startup ecosystem’s success. Through its efforts, OUP seeks to bring the discoveries of the world’s preeminent researchers to market. OUP has approximately $600M under management and is currently investing out of a $273M fund launched in 2019. For additional information, visit https://oup.vc/.