IoT Company ClearBlade Scores Strategic Investment from Sumitomo Corp. Americas


It's been a busy couple of months at ClearBlade, one of the leaders in global IoT Edge and Core solutions. From the surprising Google Cloud Platform (GCP) IoT Core end-of-life announcement, which is driving customers to the ClearBlade Core, to the introduction of ClearBlade’s Lagoon major platform release, and most recently to a new strategic investment by Sumitomo Corporate Americas (SCOA), all signs point to a successful start to 2023 for ClearBlade.

ClearBlade has been landing deals and building momentum across Industry 4.0, spanning several industries, including transportation, energy, industrial products, and manufacturing, since it was founded in 2007.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, ClearBlade's technology addresses challenges at the IoT Edge and in the IoT Core with AI software that supports fully scalable, secure, flexible, and autonomous IoT implementations. With cloud and on-premises capabilities, ClearBlade has been steadily investing in and developing data-driven capabilities that enable sensors at the edge to pump data into its cloud-based Core. There, data can be analyzed and acted upon while its AI edge networking and computing can deliver real-time adaptation at what the company describes as "extreme scale."

SCOA's strategic investment will help the company expand its operations internationally and provide SCOA, and affiliated companies access to ClearBlade's IoT, Edge, and AI software, which has been in use at some of the largest companies in North America.

The new growth capital provided by SCOA and other investors will be used to help grow ClearBlade's software install base and to support those customers via SCSK USA Inc., a Sumitomo Corporation IT service company with headquarters in New York City and branch offices in Irving, TX and Santa Clara, CA.

SCOA serves as a one-stop service as a strategic business partner to Japan-related corporations operating in the United States with services including IT consulting, application development, infrastructure/network development, security, and outsourcing/help desk services, and access to ClearBlade's platform can expand beyond IT into OT (Operations Technology) in the fast-growing connected and autonomous systems areas.

As part of the announcement with Sumitomo, the company noted significant opportunities in the transportation and energy sectors and momentum following its launch on the Google Cloud Platform, which has brought substantial new SaaS business from around the world, specifically in the Asia Pacific region.

"We are thrilled to announce our participation in ClearBlade's growth to provide efficient, scalable IoT solutions across multiple industries," said Taketo Kokubo, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Media & Digital Business Group, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. "SCOA and ClearBlade have been working together over the past few years, and we are excited to build on the trust and success we have developed together. Globally, Sumitomo Corporation is engaged in many digital transformation projects, and we look forward to drawing on our experience and collaborating with ClearBlade. ClearBlade has many innovative and strategic benefits over other IoT companies, and the ecosystem ClearBlade is creating will help bring its unique technology into several new markets."

SCOA is an avid investor in digital and advanced technology, and ClearBlade marks the company's first foray into the commercial IoT and Edge computing space in the Americas. With its integrated global network, ties to emerging technologies, and longstanding relationships throughout several markets, SCOA is well-positioned to help ClearBlade achieve its growth goals.

The ClearBlade IoT Core provides industry-standard IoT cloud service capabilities, efficient scaling, and hardened security for enterprise customers. For existing GCP IoT Core customers, ClearBlade provides a low-effort, one-click migration process and pricing consistent with GCP's current offering.

"ClearBlade has been in use and trusted by enterprises long before the hyperscalers released their IoT offerings. Companies need software that gives them scalability, flexibility, and immediate ROI, so they rely on ClearBlade," stated ClearBlade's CEO, Eric Simone. "Our team has real-world enterprise experience both in the field and at scale. ClearBlade welcomes comparisons to any and all IoT and Edge software providers. We are that confident in our software offerings."

The ClearBlade IoT Core is a fully managed service to securely connect, monitor, automate, and ingest data from globally distributed devices, including features for:

  • Device registry and management
  • Messaging via a highly scalable and proven MQTT broker
  • Simple mapping of topics to GCP PubSub
  • Ease of enterprise integrations via REST APIs

ClearBlade's IoT Platform provides a code engine that does inline stream processing, integrates directly with enterprise software, offers built-in Data as a Service (DaaS) moving device information into internal and external data stores, and an ONNX-based AI runtime for performing artificial intelligence and predictive maintenance.

IoT Enterprise users can also deploy their entire IoT applications to the edge using edge orchestration and the ClearBlade IoT Edge platform to take processing and visualizations out of the cloud and into the field.

For businesses and organizations ready to move faster, ClearBlade provides its no-code Intelligent Assets application, already in use by Fortune 500 companies around the world to track, monitor, and control assets.

ClearBlade CTO Aaron Allsbrook added, "IoT Solution developers already have their plates full with building new features to spend time building a new solution to replace what is already working. ClearBlade IoT Core provides the exact capabilities in-house today with the smallest possible impact on existing working systems."

It is not completely clear why Google Cloud shocked the industry a few months ago when it announced the retirement of its IoT Core service. The Google Cloud is the only cloud still growing at over 40% and has grown in the IoT category by focusing on workloads that scale and are profitable from the cloud perspective. 

With the retirement, Google goes directly against what the tech analysts have been saying for the last several years, ClearBlade wrote in a blog. "Gartner, Forrester, and all the other rankers and raters of the IoT marketplace have put the big three clouds as the go-to providers for IoT without any real technical due diligence or validation. The competition was over before it started."

Google may have come to the realization that it is in a more valuable position in the ecosystem when it focuses on its number one strength – cloud offerings – rather than trying to master the complex and ever-changing world of IoT, which has become even more sophisticated with the advent of AI fueling highly valuable and often “instant ROI" autonomous systems.

ClearBlade moved quickly to roll out a "lift and shift" one-click migration, giving GCP customers an instant and proven IoT Core alternative with no disruption to these same customers' cloud computing services from Google.

Since 2007, ClearBlade has been delivering the most flexible, secure, and scalable software available for IoT. Our award-winning, patented approach is built differently than all others, and it is proven at scale across multiple industries," said Eric Simone, Founder and CEO of ClearBlade. "We are extremely excited to be partnering with SCOA, bringing our innovative technology to Sumitomo business and joint customers around the world."

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Erik Linask
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