Hardware companies big and small are looking at the Internet of Things (IoT) as the new frontier. As our devices become more connected, the demand for secure infrastructure to manage their data increases.
That’s where IoTfy comes in. A team of executives, experienced in the IoT industry, have created a universal backend for connected devices.
“We envision a future where Internet-connected devices make our lives better at home or at work by being smarter,” said Iotfy CMO Shivan Dikshit. “We have set out to make this a reality.”
IoTfy is part of the 9Mile Labs Accelerator’s spring cohort in Seattle. We caught up with Dikshit for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “IoTfy is the WordPress for Internet of Things (IoT). Like WordPress made web publishing a no-brainer for users, we are making publishing device data to the cloud a no-brainer for device manufacturers.”
Inspiration hit us when: “While providing IoT solutions to enterprises previously, we realized that for every solution that we provide, we had to provide a separate cloud backend. For 100 IoT solutions, there would be 100 backends and thus was more like re-creating the wheel every time. We also realized that almost all hardware organizations want to adopt the Internet of Things and the thing that was stopping them was building, integrating, managing and maintaining a cloud backend that is secure and scalable. Thus, we started building IoTfy with a vision to ‘Enable IoT in Enterprises,’ such as these.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We had been bootstrapping IoTfy since October 2014 before raising our first round of investments from 9Mile Labs in November 2015. All the founders have been entrepreneurs before and strongly believe in the lean philosophy. We understand the need to delay investments, until and unless necessary.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “We have distilled our years of experience in the IoT industry to build IoTfy and thus have more than one secret sauce. One of them is that our device-agnostic platform architecture is federated and helps us “IoTfy” any kind of device and ensures cross-platform device compatibility. Secondly, it is our focus on ease of use and adoption — that’s the reason why we have crafted IoTfy in such a way that hardware enterprises can build and manage their connected devices business all through a self-serve web dashboard.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Although our architecture can support any kind of device making us a platform, our go-to-market strategy is to build specific solutions for domains starting with consumer electronics.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “We have made a lot of mistakes in our journey so far, and we have learned from each. The biggest mistake that we made was that we started with a huge vision to do the biggest land grab in each vertical and later realized that we can only make this count if we go vertical by vertical. And it makes sense because, as a startup, all your resources are going to be limited and one is much better placed with razor sharp focus.”
Would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “All of them are accomplished entrepreneurs and having any one of them on our team would be great. However, to choose one, we’ll go with Bill Gates as he has built most of his business out of enterprises. Zuckerberg and Bezos have experiences with majorly consumer-oriented business. We are a B2B enterprise product company and we believe having Bill Gates in our corner would be extremely useful.”
Our favorite team-building activity is: “Playing ping-pong and watching movies together.”
The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: “We look out for people who share our love for technology. When you are already in love with what you are doing, the journey becomes much easier and fun. Another prerequisite for us is common sense. Almost everything else can be taught.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “You will have a ton of people constantly sharing their feedback and opinions of your business with you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in it and want to tweak things immediately. Keep in mind that people will give you feedback based off of their market knowledge and domain experience. Learn to separate the noise from the feedback and keep your focus.”
Editor’s note: GeekWire is spotlighting each startup participating in the 9MileLabs cohort.