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21 January 2019

AWS invests in wireless tagging start-up Wiliot

Amazon AWS has taken a stake in an Israeli start-up, Wiliot, which makes wireless technology to track goods through the manufacturing process.

Wiliot, which has bases in Israel, Germany and San Diego, USA, has closed a $30m Series B funding round, with other investors including Samsung Venture Investment and RFID maker Avery Dennison.

The two-year-old company says its first product will be a battery-free Bluetooth sensor tag, which can be embedded into consumer goods or components during the production phase. These disposable tags will then allow real time tracking of the items throughout the manufacturing process, but other applications are envisaged, such as sticking disposable tags to clothes, enabling them to communicate with the washing machine and ensure the right cycles are used.

“Wiliot’s strategy for battery-free bluetooth transponders, which sense and communicate without needing specific action by consumers, is very relevant to our intelligent labels strategy,” said Francisco Melo, general manager of global RFID at Avery Dennison.

Wiliot has now raised $50m in total. It has been previously backed by Qualcomm Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, 83North Venture Capital, Grove Venture Partners and M Ventures. It employs about 40 people. It says its next plans are to open an office in Asia and work towards an IPO in the USA.