Tech group Internet of Things Inc (CVE:ITT) has not been standing still in 2018 and its drive to enter the large Chinese market has been a key theme behind activity this year, underscored by news this week of a new channel deal.
In March, it formed a joint venture with New Hope Data Technology Co Ltd, a company affiliated to conglomerate New Hope Group which has US$15.5bn in annual revenues and is one of China’s largest privately-owned enterprises
IoT Inc's chief executive Michael Frank said at the time: "This is a great opportunity to transform and modernise New Hope’s expansive network of more than 600 businesses across China with measurable and effective IoT solutions.
"We are now on our way to implementing IoT Inc’s strategy to enter the vast and profitable marketplace across China, which needs industrial IoT solutions."
Revenues at the joint venture were pencilled in to be between US$20mln and US$30mln over the next three years.
In April, the joint venture reported progress on a number of fronts, including securing a channel agreement with a leading Israeli machine learning and computer vision company that provides sensing solution to the smart building industry.
Discussions were ongoing with a leading US$100bn Chinese conglomerate with subsidiaries in insurance, banking and financial services to deploy this sensing solution.
It has also inked a co-operation agreement with an Israeli cold chain monitoring and tracking company, it said.
And on August 14, the joint venture announced that it had formed a new channel deal with PointGrab Ltd, meaning it will market and sell PointGrab Ltd workspace products in China.
PointGrab is the owner of the sensing technology platform CogniPoint, which allows users to optimise the allocation of physical resources such as workstations, meeting rooms and even lighting.
The solution is aimed at the smart buildings and commercial real estate technology (CRE-tech) industries and makes it easier for workers to share and find workspace and colleagues, fostering greater collaboration and productivity, said IoT.
What does the company do?
IoT describes itself as a strategic investor in growth-ready companies with innovative solutions. It focuses on the three main areas: Internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain solutions.
A portfolio of assets
Also in its portfolio of assets is Weather Telematics Inc, a "transformational" acquisition it closed in June this year.
Weather Telematics uses a proprietary mobile sensor network and a data fusion platform and is at the forefront of AI-based and machine learning technologies for predictive road and weather analysis feeding into the growing autonomous vehicle sector
The firm's strategy, it said, with Weather Telematics is to build out a new mobile app and then to roll out the full suite of WTX technologies to the marketplace.
Also in March this year, the group branched into the cannabis space with an investment of C$100,000 into Scorpion Resources Inc, which is buying Blockstrain Technology Corp.
IT said it will work with Blockstrain to develop cannabis specific IOT (internet of things) solutions.
Blockstrain provides seed-to-sale supply chain management blockchain applications to the cannabis market.
A Deloitte report from 2016 estimated that the base retail market for recreational marijuana could be worth up to US$8.7bn.
And three years ago, Internet of Things acquired an 8.33% minority equity position in private firm Braingrid for C$500,000.
Braingrid raised over C$2.5mln in February to expand in the cannabis tech space and continues to work on a public listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Braingrid's wireless sensing and data collection platform enable medical cannabis growers to securely monitor, analyze and optimise their cultivation data.
So the potential and breadth of ITT's portfolio are clear and there should be plenty of newsflow in the year ahead.