PNB-INSPiRE Ethical Fund 1 Investment Business Limited Liability Partnership (“PIEF”) acquired the stock of Origin Wireless Inc. (“OW”), an American company, through third-party allocation.
OW is, with a company catch of “Smart Radios for Smart Life,” a U.S. based start-up that develops and provides next-gen sensorless IoT services used to “sense” spaces and objects through radio waves. With Dr. K. J. Ray Liu, the founder and president of the company, a professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, and also a board member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the U.S. headquarters focuses on research and development while Origin Wireless Japan provides business development and corporate sales for both countries.
In order to accelerate the wide use of IoT additional investment in hardware is becoming the issue with making IoT available everywhere, and conventionally to connect to the Internet to provide new services, deployment of sensor devices connected to each other would be needed.
OW’s proprietary technology, “Time Reversal Machine™,” is used to analyze the travel path of Wi-Fi radio waves by using AI, which uses the radio waves themselves as virtual sensors to obtain value-added information necessary to realize various services.
Sensing methods that do not require sensors or wearable devices provide services such as “Motion” that detects movement within a space, “Breathing” that detects and monitor breathing rates, “Guard” that detects the opening and closing of doors and windows, and “Fall” that detect people falling.
To date, the company has offered new service options to IoT service providers who install and maintain high quantity of sensors, and to companies who invest in infrastructure such as beacons designed for obtaining indoor location information.
At CEATEC JAPAN 2017 held in 2017, OW’s technology received the grand prize in the “Community Innovation Division” as well as a high evaluation for its potential to be applied to a wide range of uses, continuing on the company has conducted PoC with many Japanese and overseas companies in order to expand the use of OW’s technology.
Additionally between PIEF, Mirai Creation Fund, managed by the SPARX Group, and Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a strategic business capital alliance partner, 10.5 million USD has been underwritten, and OW closed out the Series B round.
This funding will enable OW to further expand the functions of “Time Reversal Machine™” and accelerate commercialization of the smart home/monitoring market as its first concrete application.
OW has strengthened its relationships with service launch partners in each segment, including the collaboration with Qualcomm and Asus at the COMPUTEX 2018 trade show in Taiwan, and is aiming to expand the business globally.
In the Southeast Asian market, where infrastructure of telecommunication is rapidly being developed, PIEF will fully support the further growth of OW by creating opportunities for collaboration utilizing its cultivated partner networks in ASEAN countries through business development activities while leveraging OW’s capability in IoT services only using radio waves.
About Origin Wireless Inc.
Founder and CEO: Dr. K. J. Ray Liu
Headquarters: Suite 1070 7500 Greenway Center Drive, Greenbelt, MD, 20770 USA
Japan Office: Origin Wireless Inc.
Japan Headquarters: 6-10-1Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Wework)
Representative: Masato Marushige
PNB Inspire Partners Corporation