Where it's based: Rockville, Md.
When it was founded: 2012
Why it's Fierce: Device Cloud Network's unique approach to the M2M market is in how it delivers its service enablement platform. The company is not dependent on other operators to provide device subscriptions because it actually is an operator; DCN owns a wireless carrier in Iceland called IMC Island. Instead of requiring its M2M customers to rely on roaming agreements with numerous operators and individual service enablement companies, DCN acts as a central hub that connects to lots of different mobile spokes in markets across the world. DCN works directly with OEMs and enterprises to enable global connectivity in their products, but instead of sourcing SIM cards, the company sources subscriptions, specifically international mobile subscription identities. The subscriptions from different carriers are all routed through DCN's core network in Iceland.
To give an idea of how this works in practice, Roger Dewey, DCN's executive vice president, explained that DCN supplies its customers with a SIM card with an Icelandic subscription that connects to its core network. DCN partners with operators all over the world to get as many subscriptions as its customers need ahead of time. Then, if a car maker builds a car with an embedded SIM in Sweden and ships it to Switzerland, the first time the SIM card is activated in Switzerland it will appear to be roaming and will connect to the core network in Iceland. DCN's platform will recognize that the subscription is supposed to be Swiss and changes it over the air, even though the Icelandic subscription will be retained forever. That way, if the car goes to Germany, it can be changed over the air to have a German subscription.
DCN has roaming agreements with 384 operators and provides connectivity and coverage in 185 different countries and territories. The company provides a platform as a service and charges OEMs and enterprises based on a service model. DCN then charges for the original provisioning and then when subscriptions are changed, and gets a monthly fee per device.
What's next: DCN is still in the pre-revenue stage and is working to build out its sales channels to begin generating cash. The firm plans to keep working with Arrow Electronics, the world's largest electronics component distributor, which struck a deal with DCN in February. Arrow, with $21 billion in sales and 100,000 OEM customers, could provide a solid pipeline of customers to DCN.
Also, DCN is backed by angel investors, though it its conducting due diligence with three different sets of investors for additional funding. The company is targeting markets such as automotive, asset and vehicle tracking, security and fixed assets such as digital signage