Online IoT platform IFTTT (If this then that) announced the completion of a new round of funding of US$24 million, led by Salesforce Ventures, Fenox Venture, IBM Ventures and Chamberlain Group.
IFTTT plans to use the capital on hiring more people, including a larger sales team that can promote the service to larger firms, which don’t have the technology at the core.
The company told Fast Company that its plan isn’t to help companies launch their own online services, but to connect them with the large number of online services that already exist.
For example, traditional grocery companies like Target and Kroger can leverage the IFTTT technology and homeowners’ existing smart locks and smart cameras, to realize in-home delivery like Amazon does, said Linden Tibbets, co-founder and CEO of IFTTT, in an interview with Fast Company.
“We’re really trying to solve what I think is the biggest problem in relation to all of these legacy, existing businesses: being forced to change their relationship with their customer, their business model, and what it is they’re known for,” said Tibbets.
Launched in 2011, IFTTT is designed to connect products and services that aren’t created to work together. For instance, users can sync their Instagram photos to Dropbox, or change the color of smart light bulbs when the forecast says to rain today.
At the scattered smart home market, IFTTT plays an important role as a smart home hub, bridging devices from various manufacturers together.
In the past two years, the platfom branded its connections features as applets, and started to charge businesses to join the platform and list their applets inside their own apps. IFTTT’s revenue hasn’t be detailed by the company.
Currently, the platform has 14 million registered users and supports over 600 web services and connected devices. There are applets created by individual developers, as well as by big companies such as BMW, Domino’s, Adobe, Dropbox and Spotify.
IFTTT aims to target itself as a consumer-facing brand as well as a solutions provider that helps businesses to launch services in the IoT field.
IBM, for example, is an existing partner and an investor of IFTTT at this round of funding.
“IBM and IFTTT are working together to realize the potential of today’s connected world. By bringing together IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and Watson Assistant Solutions with consumer-facing services, we can help clients to create powerful and open solutions for their users that work with everything in the Internet of Things,” said Bret Greenstein, the vice president of Watson Internet of Things at IBM, in a statement.