Samsung invests $20 million in 'EarlySense', an IoT venture that made headlines at CES

Seo Hyeong-seok Jan 22, 2015

Samsung will raise funds worth $20 million (about KRW21,670 million), and invest the money in an Israeli healthcare venture firm ‘EarlySense.’ Samsung and institutional investors will go fifty-fifty.

According to the local industry on January 21, Samsung Venture Investments in Israel announced this investment decision on January 20 (local time). Pitango Venture Capital, Welch Allyn and JK&B raised $10 million (about KRW10,835 million), and Samsung will add the same amount to this fund. EarlySense, founded in 2004, is famous for the ‘non-contact’ diagnosis technology, which means that no instrument is attached to the patient’s body, and related sensors.

EarlySense’ non-contact sensor product for a chair/ photograph=EarlySense <EarlySense’ non-contact sensor product for a chair/ photograph=EarlySense>

Samsung and EarlySense said the objective of this investment is a ‘healthcare-related sensor project.’ “EarlySense has improved the health measurement and monitoring technology,” said Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra, who leads Samsung Ventures Investments in Israel. “This investment proves the trust in the need to commercialize a wide range of sensors.” Avner Halperin, CEO of EarlySense, replied, “This acquisition enhanced accessibility to homes.”

EarlySense made news when Yoon Boo-geun, head of the Consumer Electronics (CE) Division of Samsung Electronics (CEO) mentioned as a representative case of ‘sensors’ in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) in his keynote speech at CES 2015. At that time he said, “If you put a palm-size sensor underneath my matress, I can check how I fall asleep and what my physical functions are like, and send the data to my smartphone,” and picked the sensor technology as one of the four elements of IoT along with data analysis, service and connectivity.

Thanks to this investment, Samsung’s IoT business is forecast to pick up momentum under the banner of ‘openness’ and ‘collaboration.’ Samsung mentioned openness and collaboration when Samsung Electronics acquired a smart home company ‘Smart Things’ and led the IoT consortium OCI together with Cisco and Intel last year. Mr. Yoon Boo-geun said, “As the IoT has a wide range, it is difficult to find things that it is not connected to.” He also said about Samsung’s IoT business strategy, “Communication is key to the success of the Internet of Things.”

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