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New IoT venture for tech entrepreneur

Internet of Things boost for SMEs as new company ‘democratises’ technology

An entrepreneur who sold the company he cofounded for £47.5m, has started a new venture to make Internet of Things (IoT) technology accessible to companies of all sizes.

Chris Byrd, 36, has launched ThingSIM, to provide lower cost connectivity and management for IoT enabled devices.

The company has removed a major adoption barrier with the service, which it is selling directly to businesses and through partnership agreements with IT providers.

ThingSIM connects devices, vehicles and employees to their central IT systems via private network SIM cards backed up with a user-friendly, ‘self-serve’ platform on which businesses can manage their IoT devices and connections.

Byrd started Manchester-based Internet infrastructure and hosting business M247 with his friend Jonathan Buckle in 2003 while studying for a BSc in Internet Computing at the University of Hull’s Scarborough campus, selling it in 2016 for £47.5m to Metronet (UK).

He said of his new venture: “IoT technology tends to be dominated by very large companies, in part due to the cost of the network infrastructure and expertise needed to support it.

“We want to help democratise this technology by providing an affordable network and management solution, which will lead to a more level playing field and greater innovation.”

ThingSIM is directly connected to the London Internet Exchange as well as having its own extensive private UK network to provide secure and robust connectivity away from the public Internet. It also has mobile data roaming access to more than 300 network operators in 197 countries.

Unlike most of its competitors, ThingSIM owns and manages a large part of its infrastructure which is enabling it to offer bespoke solutions, such as integration with clients’ IT systems for example.

ThingSIM has been developing the service since 2018 and has already won significant contracts with two global household names. Byrd is chief technology officer of Netavo which owns the ThingSIM brand.

To find out more, visit ThingSIM