Top 10 Startups Leading the Research in Edge Computing
This is the fourth and final part of our Edge Computing Market Research Series. In this article, we will discuss the top startups researching and working in edge computing technology. In the previous articles in the series, we had a complete overview of the Edge Computing Market Trends, the main challenges in edge computing and its solutions, and the top companies researching Edge Computing.
It’s a lot of info. If you want to know it all, let me save you time by visiting three different links. I have combined this entire series including this article into one single report available in PDF format, so you can save it for later reading or share it with a colleague. Simply fill out the form below and the report will be available for download in your browser.
Why this list should matter to you?
If you’re looking to venture into the world of edge computing or are already working in the domain and want to get an ‘edge’ over other players, M&A with startups researching in the domain is a solid strategy.
There are several examples where acquisitions helped companies gain a stronger position in the respective industry. However, it’s not easy as it sounds.
Choosing the right startup to acquire is tough work. You would want to evaluate the startups based on several factors:
- Are they solving a challenging issue in this domain?
- Do they have a good presence in the domain?
- Have they done good R&D?
- Do they have an IP portfolio and if yes, is it good enough?
These can serve as fundamental questions which can help you choose – or at least shortlist – a company for acquisition. We used these very questions as the base and were able to pick the top 10 startups that are researching and working on Edge computing.
Below we have listed all about these startups, including their research focus, problems they are trying to solve, and patent-related information. Along with it, we have also added information like investment funding, top investors, big companies’ involvement, and their technical expertise.
Since we wrote this article, 4 startups have already been acquired that we mention in this post.
EdgeMicro is a provider of microdata center solutions. The startup was launched in 2017 to deliver the promise of edge computing.
The company’s model is to deploy hundreds of micro data centers at towers and other locations including metro fiber splice junctions, empty COs, rooftops, parking lots, et cetera. Its colocation solutions deliver speed, consistency, and reliability to cache and compute at the edge.
In 2020, EdgeMicro raised a total of $11 million over 3 funding rounds. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
- In 2018, EdgeMicro raised $3 million in seed funding that was used to increase its business activities and corporate presence. (Source)
- In 2019, the company raised $3 million in series A funding, to increase the size of the team and build its first Micro Data Center (MDC) in Denver. (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeMicro raised $5 million in funding to speed up the company’s expansion and open more micro data centers. (Source)
According to an article in 2018, the investments received by EdgeMicro were made by private investors that were kept undisclosed by the company. (Source)
Patents in their Portfolio
According to an article, in 2019 EdgeMicro filed a patent for its technology called METX (Mobile Edge Traffic Exchange). (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeMicro and BitBox USA, LLC collaborated to unite the BitBox IoT platform on its edge infrastructure and helped the operators by solving the latency and backhaul issues. The collaboration also helped EdgeMicro to place its micro data centers (MDCs) in different locations in North America as well as across the world for monitoring and managing distributed infrastructures using the BitBox IoT Platform. (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeMicro and Cloudflare reached an agreement to use the existing edge computing facilities of EdgeMicro enabling Cloudflare to provide ultra-low latency cloud-based services to its customers through connectivity that is much closer to end-users than the existing centralized peering infrastructures. (Source)
- In 2019, Flexential collaborated with EdgeMicro to assist in the live testing phase of the microdata center project conducted by EdgeMicro. The goal of the project was to link the far-edge data centers with the near-edge data centers and display the benefits of low-latency applications for the users. (Source)
2. Vapor IO
Founded in 2015 in Austin, Texas, Vapor IO provides a nationwide network solution for the edge: combining edge exchange, edge colocation, and edge networking. Its Kinetic Edge™ platform enables new and innovative edge-driven applications at unprecedented levels of performance and reduces the cost requirements for CDN, cloud, and network operators through its innovative capabilities.
In 2020, Vapor IO raised a total of approximately $90 million over 4 funding rounds. The funding was used to expand the Kinetic edge platform developed by the company and use this platform to help network operators run 5G and edge computing applications.
Vapor IO’s major investors for its Series A and B funding rounds were Goldman Sachs and AVX Partners. The company did not disclose the amount raised during these funding rounds. (Source)
The Series C funding round in which the company raised an aggregate total of $90 million was funded by Berkshire Partners and Crown Castle. (Source)
Patents in their Portfolio
|SL.No.||Date of Filing||Patent Number||Description|
|1.||11th June 2019||10674411||The invention relates to edge-based computing in general and blockchain as a distributed routing system for contract-based handoff to navigate data streams to an edge-based data center. (Source)|
- In 2020, Vapor IO and AlefEdge collaborated to combine the Software-Defined Mobile Edge (SD-ME) services developed by AlefEdge on the Kinetic Edge Platform developed by Vapor IO to help run edge computing services on private networks as well as 5G networks offering its customers to deploy edge enabled applications on high bandwidth and very low latency. (Source)
- In 2020, Vapor IO collaborated with Digital Realty to combine the Kinetic Edge services of Vapor IO with PlatformDIGITAL developed by Digital Realty to offer ultra-low latency edge applications to the end-users. It was first available in Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago. (Source)
- In 2020, Vapor IO and Cloudflare collaborated to incorporate the cloud services of Cloudflare on Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge platform to help developers run applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency at the network edge. The solution was offered by the two companies to 36 US cities. (Source)
- In 2019, Vapor IO and Crown Castle collaborated to develop a solution that links the Kinetic Edge of Vapor IO with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Crown Castle’s brisk Cloud Connect. This partnership helped run specialized edge applications, and separated workloads and data between the mobile edge and centralized sites, resulting in a streamlined end-to-end experience. (Source)
- In 2018, Vapor IO collaborated with Hangar to incorporate the Kinetic Edge, an edge computing solution of Vapor IO on the Robotics-as-a-System (RaaS) platform developed by Hangar providing an edge computing infrastructure for numerous autonomous robots and ensuring stable and secure implementation, low -latency at the edge, accurate navigation, and large data processing capabilities of the robots. (Source)
3. Nebbiolo Technologies (Acquired by TTTech Industrial)
Founded in 2015, Nebbiolo Technologies brings cloud-like flexibility and real-time controllability to IoT platforms. The startup defined a new computing paradigm “Fog Computing” known today as “Edge Computing” to apply technologies at scale in the Industrial Automation domain such as manufacturing, energy, transportation, and more.
According to Crunchbase, Nebbiolo Technologies raised a total of $16.8 million across 4 funding rounds. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
|May 12, 2018||
Series A – Nebbiolo Technologies
|Mar 31, 2017||
Series A – Nebbiolo Technologies
|Oct 19, 2015||
Series A – Nebbiolo Technologies
|Jul 7, 2015||
Debt Financing – Nebbiolo Technologies
According to Vapor IO in 2016, KUKA and TTTech made a combined investment in Nebbiolo Technologies. The details of the investment were kept undisclosed by the company. (Source)
According to Tracxn, the other major investors of Nebbiolo Technologies were Global IoT Technology Ventures and Gatewest Capital. (Source)
Patents in their Portfolio
|SL.No.||Date of Filing||Patent Number||Description|
|1.||23rd March 2017||10740710||The Fog Computing Facilitated Flexible Factory is a novel approach to producing a wide range of components and goods with a single characteristic. The technique utilizes fog computing nodes as edge device controllers and edge devices to perform the necessary monitoring, communications, analytics, and data processing at the factory site. (Source)|
|2.||13th October 2017||20190116241||The present invention relates to a fog federation scheme that includes at least one fog node connected to a network, with a minimum of one fog node connected to one or more edge devices. (Source)|
- In 2020, Intel collaborated with Nebbiolo Technologies to use its edge computing technology to help Audi simplify and improve essential quality-control processes in its facilities. The technology provided by Nebbiolo Technology improves its efficiency and lowers expenses. (Source)
- In 2020, Nebbiolo Technologies, Hyundai-Kia Motors Corporation (HKMC), and SPK collaborated to use the edge computing platform of Nebbiolo Technologies to create and incorporate edge-based technologies in the manufacturing departments of Hyundai-Kia Motors Corporation. (Source)
- In 2019, Nebbiolo Technologies and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (Toshiba) collaborated to use the edge fog computing technology developed by Nebbiolo and innovate on industrial IoT solutions and modernize the hardware and software presently operated in the industrial facilities. (Source)
Mimik has pioneered Hybrid Edge Cloud computing to enable any computing device to act as a cloud server to help application developers unlock the next generation of apps for the hyper-connected world. Developers can accelerate product development by utilizing the mimik platform. With the mimik EdgeEngine, one can launch applications faster while drastically reducing infrastructure costs, minimizing latency, and improving security and data privacy.
Mimik Technologies had raised approximately $16.3 million in funding in a series of funding rounds. (Source)
Pier 88 Investment Partners and Scale AI have invested in Mimik. (Source)
Patents in their Portfolio
|SL.No.||Date of Filing||Patent Number||Description|
|1.||26th October 2020||20210042160||By converting every computing unit or edge node into a cloud server, the framework implements cloud decentralization. The invention applies to remote edge cloud computing techniques and technologies. (Source)|
- In 2020, IBM and Mimik collaborated to combine the edge cloud platform of Mimik Technologies and IBM’s Edge Application Manager to develop AI-powered integrated software applications for automotive, hospitality, IoT, and healthcare that helped drive automation and digitalization. (Source)
- In 2020, Mimik and Flybits collaborated to use Mimik’s Hybrid Edge Cloud platform providing advanced customization to its customers using edge computing. The collaboration would extend banks’ ability to serve as core “data credibility centers”, allowing them to provide more than just one-way financial solutions. (Source)
- In 2020, Mimik and Amazon Web Services (AWS) collaborated to help developers use the Edge Cloud platform developed by Mimik and create edge applications using the AWS infrastructure and edge devices. (Source)
- In 2018, Mimik collaborated with H2 Wellness which uses the Edge cloud platform developed by Mimik to create a new application that provides a convincing digital experience approach that is tailored to the customers’ specific requirements. (Source)
- In 2018, Mimik and 3BLACKDOT collaborated to use the edge cloud platform technology and edgeEngine created by Mimik to offer a better gaming experience for users. This collaboration helped reduce cloud server latency, bandwidth consumption, and expenses as well as enhance data protection and faster application development. (Source)
5. EdgeConneX (Acquired by EQT)
EdgeConneX is actively working on optimizing data delivery by placing Edge Data Centers®, Edge Small Cells, and Edge PoPs® at the most critical locations— and as close as possible to the end user’s point of access. The company boasts that perusing their service would result in digital content delivery with higher performance and lower latency to any device, anywhere.
According to Crunchbase, EdgeConneX had raised approximately $1.8 billion. (Source)
According to Crunchbase, TDF ventures are the most prominent investors of EdgeConneX. Some of the other major investors are Providence Equity Partners, Brown Brothers Harriman, True Ventures, and Meritage Funds. (Source)
Mergers and Acquisitions
- In 2019, EdgeConneX acquired data center assets in Munich, Germany. The edge data center offered a carrier-neutral service for cloud, content, network, and IT companies in the area to deliver the networks close to its customers, ensuring optimum efficiency, reliability, affordability, and economics for its services. (Source)
- In 2018, EdgeConneX acquired the Linxdatacenter facility in Warsaw, Poland. The edge data center facility offers the potential to scale to support possible capacity growth needs and can support deployments ranging from single racks to massive custom cages or pods. (Source)
- In 2020, Adani Enterprises and EdgeConneX entered into a 50-50 joint venture to develop edge computing data centers all over India. The joint venture addresses the issue of large data requirements in the country by developing a data center infrastructure. (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeConneX collaborated with Zenlayer, an edge cloud provider. The collaboration helped to get edge computing technologies closer to enterprise locations, removing barriers to cloud adoption such as efficiency, security, and expense, and making hybrid and multi-cloud strategies easier to implement. (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeConneX and Ori Industries collaborated to develop solutions related to the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, gaming, and other edge-dependent services in Europe. This collaboration would help developers overcome many common obstacles they encounter while attempting to connect and arrange computing, storage, and network services that are spread through multiple providers’ distributed networks. (Source)
- In 2019, EdgeConneX and Rackspace collaborated to develop Edge-based cloud solutions for worldwide enterprises, and cloud migrations are made easier with choices ranging from dedicated bare-metal systems to virtual cloud and multi-cloud implementations. (Source)
- In 2018, Renovo and EdgeConneX collaborated to combine the Edge data infrastructure of EdgeConneX and Renovo’s AWare vehicle-edge-cloud data orchestration and the AWare edge application environment. This collaboration supports and enables the commercial implementation and application of fully automated vehicles as a service by providing key software and hardware resources. (Source)
Mutable is an infrastructure platform that enables a consortium of Cable and Wireless providers to compete against traditional cloud infrastructure in the field of emerging tech.
Mutable received funding of $1.7 million over 3 funding rounds. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
- In 2020, Mutable raised approximately $1.5 million in a seed funding round.
- In 2015, Mutable received a $100,000 convertible note.
- In 2015, the company raised $18,000 in a seed funding round. (Source)
- According to Crunchbase, the most recent funding was made by Fly Ventures, Momenta Ventures, Lunar Ventures, Acequia Capital, and Charlie Songhurst. (Source)
- The company received the convertible note from Right Side Capital Management. (Source)
- The first seed round was invested by Techstars and Techstars New York City Accelerator. (Source)
According to the Founder and CEO of Mutable – Antonio Pellegrino, the company is aiming to collaborate with cable operators and other service providers to offer edge computing apps to customers. (Source)
7. MobiledgeX (Acquired by Google Cloud)
MobileedgeX is a marketplace of edge computing resources & services. The company is developing a multi-sided software platform that, in conjunction with telecommunications infrastructure close to the endpoint, offers managed ultra-low latency, thereby enabling a number of new and critical use cases dependent on low latency.
According to the pitchbook, in 2018, MobiledgeX raised approximately $17.2 million in its Series A funding round. (Source)
According to the pitchbook, the major investors investing in MobiledgeX were DTCP (Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH) and SK Telecom Americas. (Source)
- In 2020, MobiledgeX collaborated with Google Cloud to make it easier for developers and businesses to launch, maintain, and analyze trustworthy in-network resources like location, latency, privacy protection, and data residency. (Source)
- In 2020, MobiledgeX and Deutsche Telekom partnered with Samsung to release multiplayer XR gaming content on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 device. The content will be available for the customers using Deutsche Telecom’s Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) powered 5G network in Germany. (Source)
- In 2020, MobiledgeX and VMware collaborated to combine the 5G-ready Telco Cloud platform of VMware and MobiledgeX’s Edge-Cloud R2.0 and develop edge computing solutions helping operators and its users develop innovative mobile interfaces by taking the cloud to the edge and connecting with cellular networks. (Source)
- In 2019, MobiledgeX collaborated with World Wide Technology (WWT), Dell and VMware software collaborated to release the Mobile edge computing (MEC) platform of MobiledgeX making it easier for service providers to launch the platform on the networks and establish new income sources more effectively. (Source)
8. Ori Industries
Ori developed a cloud platform designed to enable computing anywhere and everywhere. It empowers developers and networks to build future applications for global infrastructure from smart cities, immersive worlds, and autonomous machines. Ori Industries was established in 2018 and is headquartered in London, England.
According to Crunchbase, Ori Industries received approximately $5 million across 3 funding rounds. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
- In 2020, the company received a grant of $350,000.
- In 2020, Ori Industries received $2.6 million from a seed funding round.
- In 2019, the company raised $2 million in another seed funding round.
According to Crunchbase, there were a total of 4 investors investing in Ori Industries. The most recent investor was Innovate UK, and the investors investing in the seed funding rounds were Wayra, Force Over Mass Capital, and Episode 1. (Source)
- In 2020, Altran and Ori Industries collaborated on an effort aimed at developers to support decentralized multi-access edge computing. In this collaboration, the companies started working with network operators to offer an approach to edge computing that is mobile-friendly. Operators will be able to launch and monetize industry use cases that are fully compatible across diverse networks and industry sectors, and developers will be able to distribute apps more efficiently internationally. (Source)
- In 2020, EdgeConneX and Ori Industries worked together in Europe to create applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, entertainment, and other edge-dependent resources. This partnership will aid developers in overcoming many of the prevalent challenges they face when connecting and arranging computing, storage, and network resources that are scattered through various providers’ networks. (Source)
As the innovator behind the 5G Edge Internet, Alef delivers the superpowers of a programmable 5G Edge to developers and enterprises through The 5G Edge API. Responding to trends of Internet decentralization, Alef has integrated mobile networking with Edge computing in its flagship platform EdgeNet. By abstracting the complexity of 5G, EdgeNet unleashed a massive Edge Internet economy by securely enabling developers to build 5G Edge services that include artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 manufacturing, smart cities, virtual and augmented reality, and more.
According to Crunchbase, AlefEdge had successfully raised around $60 million in seven rounds of investment. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
- In 2020, the company raised approximately $35 million in a Series B funding round.
- In 2018, the edge computing company raised a total of approximately $7 million in another funding round.
- In 2017, AlefEdge raised around $4.9 million in a funding round.
- In 2016, the company raised approximately $5 million in a venture capital funding round.
- In 2015, the company raised around $3.6 million in a funding round.
- In 2015, AlefEdge received a convertible note of $4.5 million as funding. (Source)
According to Crunchbase, AlefEdge received funding from 9 investors. The major investors were Tata Capital, Select Venture Partners, Redwood Venture Partners, Redwood Technology Ventures, Edward Lindqvist, Leon Ariyan, and AlphaPrime Ventures. (Source)
- In 2021, Dell Technologies, AlefEdge, and Tech Mahindra collaborated to provide telecom operators with an integrated edge computing platform (MEC – mobile edge computing) as a service. With less latency, more control and capacity, greater cost-benefit, and security, the solution addresses the increasing need for data and storage that guides the rollout of 5G networks. (Source)
- In 2020, AlefEdge collaborated with Vapor IO and confirmed that its Software-Defined Mobile Edge (SD -ME) offerings would be available nationally on the Kinetic Edge website. The collaboration helps businesses implement edge computing on private cellular networks, enabling low-cost edge-enabled mobile devices such as factory robots, IoT, etc, that benefit from applications deployed at the network’s edge. (Source)
- In 2020, AlefEdge declared that Alef AdVision, the company’s first Edge solution, will be available on Microsoft Azure. On connected screens, Alef AdVision brings real-time, tailored ads to life. (Source)
- In 2020, AlefEdge and Netris collaborated to provide a portal for an integrated service for connecting to Alef’s EdgeNet for businesses and web developers. EdgeNet from AlefEdge is a system that allows network integrators, developers, and value-added resellers (VARs) to easily install 5G Edge applications and services over existing networks. (Source)
- In 2020, NTT and AlefEdge collaborated to introduce 5G-based edge internet to application developers through AlefEdge’s Software-Defined Mobile Edge Platform in India. The collaboration is expected to lower bandwidth costs resulting in a 62% rise in data capacity and a 48% increase in network reliability. (Source)
- In 2020, AlefEdge and NetFoundry collaborated to provide ultra-secure networking and performance-optimized routing at the application edge. The collaboration combines mobile networking, edge computing, and a large number of modern technologies enabling developers to quickly build and deploy stable business applications. (Source)
10. FogHorn (Acquired by Johnson Controls)
FogHorn is the developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial IoT application solutions. FogHorn’s software platform brings the power of advanced analytics and machine learning to the on-premises edge environment enabling a new class of applications for advanced monitoring and diagnostics, machine performance optimization, proactive maintenance, and operational intelligence use cases.
FogHorn’s technology is ideally suited for OEMs, systems integrators, and end customers in manufacturing, power, and water, oil & gas, renewable energy, mining, transportation, healthcare, retail, as well as smart grid, smart city, smart building, and connected vehicle applications.
According to CrunchBase, FogHorn successfully raised approximately $72.5 million across 5 funding rounds. The funding rounds were distributed as follows:
- In 2020, FogHorn raised approximately $25 million in a Series C funding round.
- In 2017, it was successful in raising $30 million in a Series B funding round.
- In 2017, the startup raised around $3 million in a Series A funding round.
- In 2016, FogHorn raised approximately $12 million in a Series A funding round.
- In 2015, FogHorn raised around $2.5 million in a Seed Funding round. (Source)
According to Crunchbase, the top investors investing funds on FogHorn were LS Group, Intel Capital, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, GE Ventures, and March Capital. Other investors were Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Darling Ventures, Forte Ventures, Plug, Play Tech Center, and Honeywell Ventures. (Source)
Patents in their Portfolio
|SL.No.||Date of Grant||Patent Number||Description|
|1.||20th June 2018||10379842||The invention is in the area of computation, primarily edge computing, and is used to manage huge quantities of data produced by industrial machinery. (Source)|
- In 2021, FogHorn and IBM collaborated to help consumers quickly deploy, manage, archive, interpret, and train sensitive data from the edge to the cloud while also improving enterprise processes by combining edge and cloud capabilities. (Source)
- In 2018, FogHorn collaborated with Dell EMC OEM Solutions to provide end-to-end edge computing applications for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This partnership enables industrial and commercial users to rapidly harness the power of the edge and deliver real-time feedback to optimize processes and market results. (Source)
- In 2018, FogHorn collaborated with Google Cloud IoT so that Industrial IoT (IIoT) systems could be deployed more easily to have a greater market effect. The companies combined the Lightning edge analytics and machine learning platform of FogHorn with the Cloud IoT Core of Google and offer solutions that help users to communicate, handle, and process data from globally distributed devices quickly and safely. (Source)
Future Outlook of Edge Computing
The involvement of tech giants and numerous startups in the domain makes edge computing a very attractive sector. Industries such as retail, manufacturing, distributing, banking, and autonomous vehicles need a system to collect data and make decisions in a split second that Edge computing is capable of providing.
Further, while IoT can help its market grow, 5G can transform edge computing in a way that 4G wasn’t able to. With low latency, network slicing, and RAN, 5G can unleash the potential of Edge computing. Or in the words of Rob High, who is the CTO of IBM for Edge Computing – “5G is the Fuel for Edge Computing.”
Companies having expertise in 5G could influence edge computing either by working on it themselves like Huawei, ZTE, or Ericsson does. Or they can offer their expertise to other companies working on Edge computing such as AT&T, Verizon, SK Telecom, etc.
Whatever the case 5G companies in one way or another would be benefited from the growing market of Edge computing.
If you are working on 5G and want to know how edge computing could benefit you or want to invest your R&D efforts in edge tech, you need to know a few more things before you can make an informed decision. We can help you with the details.