Sigfox, the self-described global 0G network and cloud provider for industrial data, has filed for bankruptcy protection and is seeking a buyer. This is despite having raised over $300 million in venture funding and seemingly being well on the way to building a global IoT communications network.
Among issues cited by the company were slow sales of its products – in particular a slower-than-expected adoption cycle for its technology – and challenging conditions in the IoT industry due to Covid-19 and a shortage in electronic components. It will use the bankruptcy protection process, which will initially last six months, to seek a buyer. It will continue operations in the meantime.
High-profile telecoms investors included Intel, Samsung, NTT and SK Telecom but there were many others from other industries.
Some estimates put the company’s value at over $1 billion. However, by last September auditors for the company warned that it had to raise funding by the end of the year or risk insolvency; in the last financial year, the company posted a net loss of nearly €91 million (about $102 million).
As for the users, according to Americas-focused news website BNamericas, the receivership and rehabilitation process will not impact Latin American operators and networks where Sigfox has partners in Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay.
Of course these aren’t the only areas in which Sigfox operators. This time last year it announced the addition of Ukraine to its coverage, and, at the last count, it was working with 75 operators around the world covering 1.4 billion people in 75 countries.
Other statistics offered by the company are that it processes nearly 80 million messages per day generated by 20 million objects registered in its network. About 5,000 customers have already committed to deploying around 50 million objects.
It’s also ISO 9001-certified and surrounded by a large ecosystem of partners and IoT key players. There’s clearly a lot riding on its survival.