Qualcomm backs artificial intelligence startup to push 5G into industrial markets

December 12, 2019



San Diego cellular giant puts $8 million into Augury, which predicts maintenance needs ahead of time for machines in factories and other industrial settings.


Qualcomm Ventures said Thursday that it has invested $8 million in a New York-based Internet of Things startup that helps companies predict when their machines will fail.


Augury, founded in 2011, collects data from equipment via advanced sensors and then applies artificial intelligence algorithms to anticipate when they will break down. It saves customers money by flagging the need for maintenance ahead of a problem.


Qualcomm Ventures believes the investment will help jumpstart the emergence of wireless connected factories, shipyards and other industrial operations — all of which are expected to accelerate with the rollout of new 5G networks.


5G promises to deliver faster speeds, better reliability and low latency to mobile users. In industrial settings, every machine generates data. But today this data is rarely tapped to improve productivity and efficiency. Augury’s algorithms deliver information on the health and performance of industrial machines in real-time.


“As digital transformation in the industrial market continues to gain significant traction, it is clear today that 5G technologies will play an essential role in enabling the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things at scale,” said Saar Yoskovitz, Augury’s chief executive.


“By working with Qualcomm to deploy and utilize 5G-enabled technologies, we will exponentially scale our machine-health solutions to make the manufacturing industry more reliable, while helping our partners transform their operations.”


Augury’s customers include Trane, Carrier, Johnson Controls, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the New York City Department of Education, among others.


The Qualcomm investment comes on the heels of Augury raising $25 million earlier this year in a third round of venture funding.

With the Qualcomm funding, Augury has raised a total of $59 million to date.


While 3G/4G cellular networks focused primarily on connecting smartphones, 5G aims to bring wireless connectivity to a host of other gadgets, including industrial equipment.


Augury is a leader in the Industrial Internet of Things market, said Carlos Kokron of Qualcomm Ventures, who will join Augury’s board of directors as an observer.


“We are excited by their vision and traction and are looking forward to working with them to advance 5G and edge computing in industrial settings,” he said.




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