The global market for the Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to grow to nearly $1 trillion by 2025. To enable this growth, the global enablement of 5G wireless technology is necessary. 5G enables better, faster connections for connected devices – from phones to speakers to wearables and more.
Koch Strategic Platforms (KSP) and other top investors, including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, have led an investment of $225 million into KORE, which recently reached an agreement to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Cerberus Capital Management. KORE helps manage more than 12 million connected devices across industries, and it is increasingly focused on key industry sectors that represent over 80 percent of the market for connected IoT devices.
“As the 5G revolution accelerates globally, we are well-positioned to be a critical enabler in helping enterprises transform their businesses with the power of IoT solutions,” said KORE President and CEO Romil Bahl, in announcing the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
KSP is a subsidiary of Koch Industries and part of Koch Investments Group. The investment is the latest move reflecting KSP’s focus on computing and connectivity as one of its four main investing areas, which also include energy transformation, industrial automation, and healthcare.
KSP Managing Director Adam DeWolf, who leads the computing and connectivity effort, said that his team began with an exploration of 5G for a simple reason: “It’s a paradigm shift in wireless technology.”
Adam and KSP envision KORE’s services streamlining Koch’s growing network of connected industrial devices across 5G, while enabling KORE to scale its technology across a variety of applications around the world. Koch works as a laboratory of ideas through investments, research, and development, experimenting with applications of new technology, like enhanced 5G connectivity.
“Not only can 5G technology increase the number and speed of devices connected to networks, but it also shifts the paradigm so that wireless technology can be more easily used by enterprises to solve their own use cases,” Adam explained.
According to a recent global survey commissioned by Koch company Molex, which manufactures a wide range of electronic connectors, more than half of decision makers from telecom carriers surveyed said they expect 5G to deliver substantial end-user benefits within two to five years. Forty-seven percent said they are already seeing benefits or will do so within the year.
“Our investment in KORE is more than just capital; it’s the diversified capabilities of Koch companies that make this a great partnership,” Adam said. “We will be able to test and benefit from their offerings in real time across a variety of applications around the world.”
These applications could include connected sensors that monitor for emissions and operations efficiencies, such as those in place at Koch company Flint Hills Resources and developed by Molex, or consumer-facing products, such as Georgia-Pacific Professional’s KOLO™ Smart Monitoring System which helps public facilities manage, monitor, and measure cleanliness and supply levels.