KDDI expands IoT activities by buying Soracom

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

IoT specialist Soracom to be consolidated into KDDI, says president and CEO Takashi Tanaka

Japanese operator KDDI is to acquire the whole of virtual network operator Soracom for a reported 20 billion yen ($181 million).

Soracom is a Japanese company founded in early 2015 and specialising in the internet of things (IoT). It has over 7,000 customers and 350 registered partners, said KDDI.

Soracom will become a consolidated subsidiary of KDDI, said the group’s president and CEO Takashi Tanaka.

It runs its own IoT platform, which combines over-the-air connectivity with cloud capability to deliver secure communication optimized for IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) services.

Customers can operate and manage connections and devices from a web console, and can quickly launch and scale IoT systems featuring advanced cloud integration and private cloud connections, said KDDI about its new acquisition.

Soracom was founded in early 2015 by three executives. CEO Ken Tamagawa, formerly a senior executive at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Tokyo and a software engineer trained at Carnegie Mellon university in the US. CTO Kenta Yasukawa is a former systems manager at Ericsson in Stockholm who later worked at AWS.

The third founder, Daichi Dan Funato, now COO of Soracom, was at DoCoMo Innovations in California and then head of strategy and operations at NTT DoCoMo’s innovation department in Tokyo.

Soracom has operations in Tokyo, Singapore, Palo Alto and Copenhagen.

KDDI said the two companies will promote expansion of the joint IoT platform worldwide, using KDDI’s IoT business base and Soracom’s communication platform.

“In addition, both companies will apply the IoT/M2M knowledge and customer base that they have developed to date as they create a market-leading new joint IoT business,” said the company.