Exploring Top 10 IoT Venture Capital Funds


Table of Contents

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized industries and unleashed a technological wave that shows no signs of slowing down. With billions of connected devices and trillions of dollars in potential market value, the opportunities are simply staggering.

But many IoT start-ups and high-growth tech companies feel like excited kids in a gigantic tech playground, just itching for more pocket money to try out all the awesome rides! With a little more dough, they could create the latest super-cool gadgets and gizmos, develop ninja-like security systems, and juggle enormous mountains of data like it’s no big deal. And that’s where IoT Venture Capital Funds comes in

I’m sure you are anxious to get to the list, but there is plenty I have to share first, so here’s hoping this glimpse into 5 leading IoT venture capital firms will hold you over:

  1. Intel Capital: Invests in innovative technology startups with a focus on IoT, offering funding, resources, and strategic support.
  2. Robert Bosch Venture Capital: Specializes in IoT, automotive, and industrial technology investments, providing financial support, network access, and strategic guidance.
  3. Qualcomm Ventures: Drives innovation in mobile technology, 5G, and IoT, offering capital, technical expertise, and access to Qualcomm’s ecosystem.
  4. Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC): Invests in early and growth-stage IoT companies in China, providing funding, guidance, and resources.
  5. Khosla Ventures: Focuses on early-stage investments in various technology-driven sectors, including IoT, with a particular interest in the intersection of blockchain and IoT.

Why is this list so valuable?

Let me assure you, this isn’t your average top 10 rundown! To help introduce you to your potential cosmic sweetheart, I crafted this informative piece and undertook extensive research and analysis of the top IoT venture capital firms. By delving into their past investments, notable achievements, and current focus areas, I have gained comprehensive insights into their strategies and the opportunities they offer. And I will be sharing the ones that have established themselves as powerhouses in the industry and are fueling innovation and supporting the growth so IoT startups can spread their smart solution pixie dust on our world!

Funds like Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, NLVC, and Khosla Ventures are top players in the IoT startup ecosystem due to their strong financial backing, extensive industry networks, and expertise in identifying and supporting innovative companies in the IoT sector.

Pro Tip:

One essential factor to consider when exploring venture capital funding options, which is commonly overlooked, is the caliber of your technical team. Ultimately, their expertise and capability to successfully execute the development process will significantly influence funding decisions.

At TurnKey Labs, we have a diverse client portfolio that includes growing and early-stage IoT companies like Salad, Ivy Energy, and Throne Labs. These companies are making their mark among the IoT companies, showcasing their potential to disrupt and shape the energy industry, the usage of computing facilities, and even the portable toilet sector. Our unique approach to building software teams has helped these clients build products that have secured significant funding, while demonstrating the growing interest and confidence in their products.

I’ll delve into those details shortly, including some case studies, but first, allow me to set the stage by discussing the current landscape of IoT.

What is the IoT Industry and the Market Potential?

The IoT refers to a vast network of interconnected physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity that enables them to exchange data and communicate over the Internet. This industry has gained immense momentum, and its disruptive potential has attracted the attention of venture capital firms worldwide. 

The IoT market is poised for significant growth. The total Internet of Things investment market worldwide was worth around 182 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, and is forecast to rise to more than 621 billion U.S. dollars in 2030, tripling its revenue in ten years, according to Statista

This substantial growth can be attributed to the increasing adoption of IoT devices and the rollout of 5G technology, which facilitates faster data transfer and enhances connectivity.

5G IoT Market | TurnKey

As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the market potential for this transformative technology is immense, including these:

  • Data-Driven Insights: By analyzing real-time data, companies can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, operational efficiency, and market trends. This data-driven decision-making empowers businesses to optimize processes, personalize experiences, and unlock new revenue streams.
  • Security and Privacy Challenges: While the IoT market holds tremendous potential, it also poses security and privacy challenges. With billions of interconnected devices, securing networks and safeguarding data becomes crucial. As IoT continues to evolve, addressing cybersecurity risks and implementing robust privacy measures will be vital for maintaining trust and realizing the full potential of this technology.
  • Expanding Market Size: With the proliferation of smart devices, increasing connectivity, more data centers and advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing, the number of IoT devices is set to skyrocket.
IoT Market Map | TurnKey
  • Industry Disruption: From manufacturing and healthcare to agriculture and transportation, IoT applications are revolutionizing traditional processes, optimizing operations, and enabling predictive maintenance. Businesses are leveraging IoT to enhance productivity, reduce costs, improve customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge.
  • Enabling Smart Cities: IoT plays a pivotal role in building smart cities, where interconnected devices and infrastructure create more sustainable, efficient, and livable environments. IoT technologies can optimize resource management, enhance public safety, streamline transportation, and improve energy efficiency. By harnessing data from sensors and devices, cities can make informed decisions and deliver better services to residents.
  • Consumer Adoption: From smart thermostats that adjust the temperature based on occupancy patterns to fitness trackers that monitor our health, IoT is enhancing convenience, comfort, and efficiency for consumers. As IoT devices become more affordable and user-friendly, the consumer adoption rate is expected to soar, opening up new markets and revenue streams.

Ready to Make Your Mark in the IoT Industry? TurnKey is Here to Guide You Every step of the Way.

Give Us a Call Today and Let's Make Your Investment Dreams a Reality.

Sounds huge, doesn’t it? And likely expensive, which finally leads me to the unveiling of the list!

The list below has been crafted after thoroughly examining various factors such as assets under management, units under management, ROI/success rates, and peer rankings. By delving into the details of these top venture capital funds, startups can better understand the industry landscape and potential partnership opportunities.

10 IoT Investor Powerhouses (US Based)

Drum roll, please!  After meticulous research and analysis, the following venture capital funds have emerged as leading investors in IoT technology:

Intel Capital

The investment arm of Intel Corporation, focusing on innovative technology startups across various sectors, including IoT.

  • Typical Stages: Early-stage to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides funding, resources, and strategic support to help startups accelerate their growth.
  • Notable Program Companies:

FloLiv: Provides wireless power solutions for IoT devices, enabling convenient and efficient charging.

Espressif Systems: Specializes in designing and manufacturing semiconductor solutions for IoT connectivity.

Robert Bosch Venture Capital

The venture capital arm of the Bosch Group, investing in innovative technology companies with a focus on IoT, automotive, and industrial technology.

  • Typical Stages: Early-stage to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Offers financial support, access to Bosch's vast network, and strategic guidance to portfolio companies.
  • Notable Program Companies:

Actility: A global leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) for IoT, providing scalable connectivity solutions.

Flybits: Offers a context-aware experience management platform for digital channels, enabling personalized and relevant customer experiences.

Qualcomm Ventures

The investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated that focuses on investing in companies that drive innovation in mobile technology, 5G, and IoT.

  • Typical Stages: Seed to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides capital, technical expertise, and access to Qualcomm's vast ecosystem to accelerate the growth of portfolio companies.
  • Notable Program Companies:

CyberX: Offers an industrial cybersecurity platform that protects critical infrastructure from cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

CoreTigo: Provides wireless connectivity solutions for industrial automation, enabling reliable and efficient communication between devices.

Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC)

A famous China-based venture capital firm that invests in early and growth-stage companies, including those in the IoT sector.

  • Typical Stages: Early-stage to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides funding, strategic guidance, and access to resources to support portfolio companies' growth.
  • Notable Program Companies:

Tenaface: Develops smart building technology, optimizing energy usage and enhancing occupant comfort and safety.

APIcloud: Offers a leading API management platform for IoT applications, simplifying development and integration processes.

Khosla Ventures

Khosla is focused on early-stage investments in various technology-driven sectors, including IoT, with a particular interest in the intersection of blockchain and IoT.

  • Typical Stages: Early-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides capital, strategic guidance, and access to a strong network of industry experts and resources.
  • Notable Program Companies:

Helium: Builds a decentralized wireless network for IoT devices, enabling secure and cost-effective connectivity.

Tempo Automation: Provides rapid PCB assembly services, streamlining the process of manufacturing IoT devices.

Origin Ventures

An early-stage venture capital firm that invests in high-growth technology companies, including those in the IoT market.

  • Typical Stages: Seed to early-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Offers capital, operational support, and mentorship to help startups scale their businesses.
  • Notable Program Companies:

Salad: Converts idle time into items that gamers want: subscriptions, gift cards, DLC, and hardware.

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

A prominent venture capital firm that invests in technology startups across various sectors, including IoT. They have a dedicated focus on funding companies that are poised to transform industries through innovative IoT solutions.

  • Typical Stages: Seed to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides capital, operational support, and access to their extensive network of experts and resources to help portfolio companies succeed.
  • Notable Program Companies:

August Home: Develops smart home access solutions, including smart locks and doorbells, to enhance security and convenience.

Samsara: Offers IoT-based fleet management solutions, combining hardware sensors, software platforms, and data analytics for transportation companies.

Playground Global

Founded by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, Playground Global focuses on investing in startups that are leveraging emerging technologies, including IoT, robotics, and artificial intelligence, to create transformative products and experiences.

  • Typical Stages: Early-stage to growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides funding, mentorship, and access to their deep network of industry experts and resources to support startups in their development and growth.
  • Notable Program Companies:

Nuro: Develops autonomous delivery vehicles for local goods transportation, enabling efficient and contactless delivery services.

Tile: Offers a popular Bluetooth tracker that helps users locate misplaced items, such as keys or wallets, through a mobile app.

Left Lane Capital

A growth-stage venture capital firm that invests in high-potential technology companies, including those in the IoT industry.

  • Typical Stages: Growth-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Provides capital, strategic guidance, and operational expertise to help portfolio companies achieve their growth objectives.

Royal Street Ventures

An early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on investing in innovative startups, including those in the IoT industry.

  • Typical Stages: Seed to early-stage investments.
  • Program Terms: Offers funding, mentorship, and access to resources to help early-stage startups succeed in their growth.

Now that we’ve identified the key players, it’s time to delve into the nitty-gritty of how to proceed, and we begin with the selection criteria used by venture capitalists (VCs).

Factors to Rank Startups and Teams

When evaluating IoT startups for investment, VC firms typically consider the following factors:

  1. Expertise and experience of the founding team in the IoT domain.
  2. Technological innovation and unique value proposition.
  3. Market potential and scalability of the product or service.
  4. Competitive advantage and intellectual property.
  5. Execution capabilities and traction achieved.

Are You a Startup Looking for IoT Investment?

If you are a startup operating in the IoT space, seeking investment from specialized firms can be a strategic move.

Venture capital funds focused on IoT bring financial support, industry expertise, mentorship, and access to a network of relevant partners. By partnering with the right VC firm, startups can accelerate their growth, scale their operations, and gain a competitive edge.

One way to prepare to unlock the investment potential for your IoT venture is with our tech recruiting and experience with investment firms. Turnkey’s founders have walked the startup path, we understand the challenges you face with building your tech teams and can offer the support you need to build the rock-solid tech team you need to secure funding for your company. What’s more, Turnkey has forged partnerships with investment firms that specialize in fueling the growth of startups just like yours. These firms recognize the importance of a strong, dependable team and value the cost-effectiveness of development.

Top 3% Talent for Your Team | TurnKey

Let's Pave the Way for Your IoT Success Story and Secure the Investment Your Company Deserves.

Here are some examples of how we have helped others in the IoT space:

Throne, a trailblazing manufacturer of smart and accessible bathrooms, faced the challenge of developing a robust software infrastructure to complement their groundbreaking hardware. Recognizing the need for a skilled and dedicated engineering team, Throne turned to TurnKey for their expertise.

With TurnKey’s support, Throne was able to assemble a highly capable engineering team and gradually scale it over time. The hiring process was streamlined, with an average time of just 37 days to fill each position and an impressive pool of 8 candidates presented for technical screening. The engineers brought on board by TurnKey have proven to be proactive and deeply invested in the product’s success. They actively contribute to the product roadmap and direction, solidifying their position as vital members of the core team that drives the product forward.

Case study: Throne Labs | TurnKey

Ivy Energy, a venture-backed company, has established itself as a leading provider of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for real estate owners, enabling them to efficiently distribute solar energy across multiple units with precision, compliance, and data-driven insights. To support the expansion of their SaaS platform, Ivy Energy sought to rapidly scale their software engineering team. They turned to TurnKey for their expertise in accelerating staffing efforts.

With TurnKey’s assistance, Ivy Energy experienced a swift and efficient hiring process. On average, it took just 23 days to fill each position,with an average of 2 candidates presented for each position for technical screening, showcasing the quality of the talent pool.

Notably, the TurnKey hired team took the lead in developing a new platform to replace Ivy Energy’s existing product. Leveraging their full-stack technical expertise, they implemented significant architectural improvements, ensuring the platform’s scalability and ease of maintenance in the future. This collaborative effort between Ivy Energy and TurnKey has laid the foundation for a SaaS platform that empowers real estate owners to optimize their solar energy distribution, further solidifying Ivy Energy’s position as an industry leader.

Case study: Ivy Energy | TurnKey

When Should You Go for VC Funding?

Deciding when to seek VC funding is a crucial consideration for startups. While bootstrapping or seeking alternative funding might work for some, VC funding can provide the capital injection to fuel rapid growth. If your IoT startup has a proven concept, a scalable business model, and the potential for market disruption, approaching VC firms for funding becomes a viable option.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, several key factors can help guide your decision-making process.

  • Market Opportunity: Evaluating the market opportunity is crucial. If you find yourself operating in a rapidly growing industry with substantial demand and limited competition, seeking VC funding early on can give you a competitive edge. VCs often look for startups with the potential to disrupt or dominate a market, making it an opportune time to pursue their investment.
  • Scalability: VC funding is typically sought by startups aiming for rapid growth and scalability. If your business model allows for exponential growth and requires substantial capital to achieve it, VC funding may be the right path. VCs are more inclined to invest in startups with high-growth potential that can deliver substantial returns on their investment.
  • Proof of Concept: VCs are more likely to invest in startups with viable products or services that have already gained some traction in the market. Demonstrating proof of concept, such as a growing user base, revenue, or partnerships, increases your chances of securing VC funding. It showcases that your business has the potential to generate returns and mitigate risks.
  • Capital Intensive: Some startups require significant capital investments to develop their product, conduct research, or scale operations. However, keep in mind that VCs typically expect a substantial equity stake in return for their investment.
  • Strategic Value: VC funding is not just about the money. It often comes with strategic guidance, industry connections, and expertise that can help your startup flourish. If you believe that partnering with a VC firm can bring valuable insights, mentorship, and networking opportunities to your business, it might be worth considering.
  • Timing and Dilution: VC funding is a significant decision that should align with your long-term goals. Consider the stage of your startup and the amount of control and equity you are willing to give up in exchange for funding. Sometimes it makes sense to bootstrap your business in the early stages to retain more ownership and negotiate better terms later on.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue VC funding depends on your specific circumstances, goals, and growth potential. It’s crucial to thoroughly research potential VC firms, understand their investment criteria, and be prepared to present a compelling business case. VC funding can be a powerful tool, but weighing the pros and cons and ensuring it aligns with your overall business strategy is important.

Still wondering about the role IoT can play in transforming an industry? Check out this video to see how IoT solutions are improving healthcare.

While compiling this list of top IoT investors, I considered several crucial factors that can greatly influence the success of IoT startups.  You will want to start your research by also considering these same factors:

Factors to Rank IoT Investors

To compile this list of top IoT investors, I considered several crucial factors that can greatly influence the success of IoT startups:

  • Assets Under Management (AUM): The total value of funds an investor manages indicates their financial capacity to support startups. A higher AUM suggests a greater availability of resources for investment.
  • Units Under Management: The size of investments made by an investor reflects their commitment to supporting startups at different stages of growth. Investors with a diverse portfolio of IoT investments demonstrate their belief in the industry's potential.
  • ROI/Success: An investor's track record and success in previous IoT investments speak to their expertise and ability to generate returns. Partnering with investors who have a history of successful exits and positive returns can significantly benefit startups.
  • Peer Ranking: Recognition and reputation among peers further validate an investor's impact and influence in the IoT investment ecosystem. Investors with a high peer ranking have established themselves as leaders in the IoT space.

What is the Future of IoT?

As someone deeply immersed in the world of IoT, I am incredibly excited about the future that lies ahead. The potential of IoT is simply awe-inspiring, with the power to transform countless industries. From my perspective, I see a world where smart cities seamlessly integrate various systems to enhance the quality of life for residents. I envision a healthcare sector where connected devices and sensors revolutionize patient care, enabling remote monitoring and timely interventions. Even in sectors like agriculture and logistics, IoT is set to streamline operations, optimize resource utilization, and minimize waste.

IoT Devices | TurnKey

One of the most remarkable aspects of IoT is the sheer volume of data it generates. Every interconnected device becomes a source of valuable information. This data deluge serves as a catalyst for advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Through these technologies, we can unlock the full potential of IoT by extracting meaningful insights from the massive amounts of data collected. Automation and predictive analytics will become more precise and efficient, paving the way for intelligent decision-making and improved outcomes.

From my vantage point, the future of IoT is not just big data analytics or about interconnected devices; it’s about the convergence of cutting-edge technologies that will shape our world.

To sum up, the IoT industry presents a world of opportunities for startups, with venture capital firms actively seeking to invest in the next wave of IoT innovation. By understanding the market potential, identifying the top IoT investors, and recognizing the factors that influence investment decisions, startups can position themselves for success and drive the future of technology forward.

Don't Miss Out On the Opportunity to Propel Your IoT Startup to New Heights. Let Us Help You Navigate the Path to Funding and Success!


Who is the VC Leader in IoT?

While it's difficult to pinpoint a single VC leader in the IoT space, several firms have established themselves as influential players. With its vast network and deep industry connections, Intel Capital is widely recognized as a leading provider and key investor in IoT startups. Qualcomm Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz have also made notable investments in the IoT industry, positioning themselves as significant players in the industry.

How Do We Rank IoT Investors?

Ranking IoT investors can be subjective, as each firm brings its own unique strengths and investment strategies. However, some key factors to consider while evaluating them include:

  1. Track record of successful investments in the IoT industry.
  2. Size and depth of their investment portfolio in IoT.
  3. Industry reputation and credibility.
  4. The extent of value-add beyond capital, such as mentorship and access to resources.
  5. Network and partnerships that can facilitate market access and growth opportunities.

September 11, 2023

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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