IoT startup Cognosos has announced a Series A funding round led by Cox Enterprises, and brought on a new CEO to lead the company, which bills itself as a “sensing-as-a-service” technology. The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) Signature startup brought in a $7.1M Series A round, primarily to be used for product development and to dramatically expand its sales team. Covalent Partners and CheckFree Founder Pete Kight also contributed to the raise.
To lead the company’s in its next phase, Sandeep Vohra has joined the team as CEO.
“We plan to expand our sales and marketing teams to scale the business considerably, while continuing to push the envelope on product development with the best technical talent we can hire to continue to develop cutting edge solutions,” says Vohra. “We are starting by focusing on the automobile industry, but we plan to expand into adjacent markets in the future.”
Founded in 2014, Cognosos’ sensing-as-a-service solution provides real-time tracking information about your valuable assets. Their patented technology, called RadioCloud, was developed at the Smart Antenna Lab at Georgia Tech.
RadioCloud uses cloud computing to make wireless signals go further by extracting information from weak, noisy wireless signals. “Imagine what the range and power of a million dollar WiFi access point would be — thats the scale we can achieve with wireless cloud computing,” says Vohra. The startup has successfully launched one product, RadioTrax, for the automative sector. RadioTrax helps automotive dealers keep track of their inventory by placing a small tracker in the car.
When a customer is interested in a specific car, the sales team no longer needs to call multiple leads to track down the model. The tracker on the car’s visor keeps the dealership updated on where the car is parked or if it has been moved, along with data on how long it has been on the lot, number of test drives, and other features.
“You can make your dealership lot operations smarter and more efficient while creating a better experience for your customers with Cognosos as it provides you with cost-effective real-time information about your valuable assets,” says Vohra.
“Most of the processes on automobile lots are fairly manual in nature, or at best utilize RFID type technologies, which are limited in range and therefore not real-time in nature. With Cognosos, we enable inventory management, as well as asset tracking in real time at a fraction of the cost of competing approaches such as cellular.”
Formerly with Cisco, Vohra has extensive experience in cloud services, digital media, and unified communications. Prior to Cisco, he was at telecommunications manufacturing company Scientific-Atlanta, which was acquired by Cisco.
Cognosos’ innovative problem-solving technology first attracted him to the company.
“What attracted me to Cognosos was not just the fact that it was focusing in the exciting field of IoT, but the vision of the founders, which is to use innovative technology to solve specific business problems,” says Vohra. “Cognosos is the only company that provides a full turn key IoT service to enterprises that are looking to generate greater information about their operations for making them more efficient as well as generate growth.”
Duncan O’Brien, Cox Enterprises’ senior vice president and general manager of corporate strategy and investments, agrees on the potential behind Cognosos’ technology.
“Cox has worked with the founders for several years, so it’s exciting to see them bringing more new ideas to life right here in Atlanta,” said O’Brien in a statement. “Cognosos has a cost-effective, flexible technology solution that can collect data in a variety of environments where it hasn’t been possible before. We think Cognosos has great potential to ramp up efficiency and reduce costs across a variety of businesses and settings.”
In the next year, Vohra hopes to take the startup’s RadioCloud technology beyond the automobile industry and into other markets, primarily transportation and supply chain.
“RadioCloud technology has applicability in areas beyond automobile industry,” says Vohra. “Tracking valuable assets for enterprises is of paramount importance — may it be automobiles, cargo containers, railroad cars, golf carts, shared electric vehicles, and more. Beyond asset tracking, we envision branching out into parking industry, indoor logistics, and anywhere where you require low date rate, low cost sensing.”