Internet of Things firm VT Networks raises €1.2m

VT will work with French firm Sigfox and network operator 2RN to roll out network

Patrick Joy from Suretank: the winner of The EY Entrepreneur of the year 2013 is among the investors. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Patrick Joy from Suretank: the winner of The EY Entrepreneur of the year 2013 is among the investors. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Irish tech start-up VT Networks has raised €1.2 million in funding to roll out the first “internet of things” (IoT) network in Ireland.

Suretank founder and winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Patrick Joy and Dome Telecom owner Dara O’Mahony are among the investors in the Dublin-based company.

VT will work with French firm Sigfox and communication network operator 2RN to roll out the IoT network.

Its founder Mark Bannon said the problem with cellular networks was that they were power-hungry and devices must be charged nearly every 24 hours.

“With our technology, two AA batteries in a device will last five to seven years. Some batteries such as ones in a water meter last 12 years,” he said.

He the network currently covers 72 per cent of the population and 62 per cent of Ireland’s landmass.

“By June 2016 we will have 95 per cent population and territory coverage of Ireland. This will enable objects, sensors & ‘things’ to be connected anywhere in country,” he said.

He said the network will provide nationwide low-power and cost-effective connectivity.

“It is designed for connecting objects, sensors & ‘things’ that need to send a very small amount of information on a regular basis such as a smoke alarm alert or temperature reading in a room, or the level of liquid in your oil tank.”

The company is aiming to accelerate the development of IoT applications in Ireland, with the hope of connecting over 1 million devices by 2017.

VT’s founders, Mark Bannon and Will Ferguson, won the best start-up category in the regional section of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition (IBYE) last year.