Funding Continues to Pour into C3 IoT - But Can It Monetize the IoT Vision?

On September 1, 2016, C3 IoT announced that it had raised $70 million in Series D funding. C3 IoT will use this funding to expand its product line-up and customer service operations. Verdantix estimates this brings C3 IoT’s total funding to approximately $290 million since 2009 (including funding it received when it was C3 Carbon and C3 Energy).

Building upon a heritage in energy management software and utility data analytics, C3 IoT’s latest vision is to transform business operations with IoT technologies, across a range of sectors such as manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, retail, aerospace and transportation. At the core of its solution is a data integrator that aggregates data from multiple sources such as sensors, meters, enterprise data systems and third-party databases. It also provides a set of pre-built software applications including predictive maintenance, energy management and asset management.

C3 IoT is among the hundreds of solution providers racing to take advantage of the declining costs of sensors and communications technologies empowering the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop new solutions for businesses. C3 IoT believes its solution distinguishes from others in the market by providing a more “comprehensive, cohesive, end-to-end IoT platform”. But the question that still looms over C3 IoT is whether it can pinpoint the specific applications of IoT that will solve tangible customer problems. After all, no-one is out to buy an ‘IoT solution’; corporate executives tend to think in terms of practical applications such as risk management, finance applications, or asset management.

Its previous focus on the utility sector provided many clear use cases for IoT – given the millions of smart meters and grid sensors generating huge amounts of real-time data. IoT-led offerings can provide tangible value such as improving outage detection, optimizing workforce dispatch and providing customers with targeted engagement. Now that it is going after a much broader range of customers – it will need to make sure it builds out applications that provide measurable value for different sectors. Otherwise it will struggle to engage buyers that lack a sufficient vision for IoT.