Ray Ozzie at the inaugural CommunitySummit in Seattle. (File Photograph, Annie Laurie Malarkey)
Collaboration computer software pioneer and previous Microsoft executive Ray Ozzie has lifted $11 million for his newest startup, Blues Wireless, an IoT business that aims to make it easy to connect virtually any products to AT&T’s mobile community for a fastened up-entrance selling price, with no usage charges.
Achieved by telephone, Ozzie confirmed that the startup has raised income from undisclosed buyers, as disclosed in an SEC filing March 26.
Blues is the most recent undertaking from Ozzie, who invented the Lotus Notes group messaging platform in the 1980s. Ozzie has considering that introduced and bought two startups to Microsoft: Groove Networks in 2005, and Talko in 2015. He joined Microsoft just after the Groove offer, finally succeeding Monthly bill Gates as the company’s chief program architect, and helping to lead the launch of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.
The plan for Blues arrived from Ozzie’s work as a board director at Safecast, a details checking nonprofit that introduced in response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. A couple of yrs back, he tried out encouraging the group establish photo voltaic-driven cellular environmental measurement units, but it was tougher than predicted.
Ozzie, an adviser to AT&T, arrived at out to the wireless large for assist. That is when he commenced placing with each other principles for a cellular IoT device that could be embedded into almost any hardware and seamlessly link to the net without the need of relying on WiFi.
Blues arrived out of stealth mode in February 2019, announcing its Notecard “System-on-Module” machine that runs on AT&T’s wireless community. The thought is to make it straightforward to link just about anything — from a fridge to a propane tank to HVAC systems — to the world-wide-web, enabling remote management and monitoring. Portion of the novelty is the organization design. Blues only rates customers for the module itself, and nothing a lot more following that.
“It’s a set price tag provide,” Ozzie explained. “That modifications the logic for a great deal of people today in conditions of the final decision to embed connectivity into a item that could not or else have it. They don’t have to handle cellular subscriptions, or a lot of just about anything. The belongings can just be in the cloud.”
There is also an ease-of-set up aspect, notably for customers that really don’t have professional software program developers who know how to carry out and maintain current IoT platforms.
“It’s probably been at least 8 yrs of folks talking about this,” he stated. “The problem is that a whole lot of the solutions that have been attempted are particularly advanced for the sorts of builders who develop these small devices.”
Blues is targeting higher-volume and lower-expense use situations, Ozzie mentioned. The enterprise has been tests its technologies with early shoppers for the previous eight months, and the COVID-19 disaster has further more highlighted the require for this style of connectivity. “We have experienced engagements with people today producing factors and making an attempt to observe matters that we didn’t have any publicity to even number of weeks back,” Ozzie explained.
Blues is a distributed business with about a dozen staff members. Ozzie spends a the vast majority of his time in Boston, but continue to would make regular trips to Seattle.