Sigfox expects to reach breakeven this year, eyes IPO

Many believe the IoT market will continue to grow. (Pixabay)

IoT network vendor Sigfox said that it failed to meet its financial goals for 2017, but the company’s CEO told Reuters Sigfox will likely reach financial breakeven by the end of this year and could well seek a stock market listing sometime after that.

Sigfox generated revenues of roughly $62 million last year, up from around $40 million in 2016. But those figures were roughly $12 million short of Sigfox’s initial target, the company said.

Interestingly, Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan told Reuters that the noise around 5G is cutting into the company’s sales efforts. Indeed, wireless network operators around the world are rushing to roll out 5G services as early as this year, which they promise will raise speeds while also supporting billions of additional IoT devices.

Sigfox, based in France, sought to make a splash in the U.S. market, and managed to cover 20% of the U.S. population and deploy its network in more than 100 U.S. cities by the end of 2016. However, last year the company’s North American chief Allen Proithis left Sigfox, and the company said it failed to reach its goal of covering 40% of the U.S. population with its IoT services by the end of 2017.

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In the U.S. market specifically, Sigfox is facing challenges in the IoT market from other startups like Senet as well as from massive established providers like AT&T and Verizon. Indeed, both AT&T and Verizon turned on their LTE M networks last year; LTE M is a variant of the LTE standard that supports slower data speeds and better battery life for devices.

Further, T-Mobile, Sprint, Dish Networks and Comcast are all rushing into the IoT market with their own respective network offerings.

In the United States, Sigfox operates a network in the 902 MHz band designed to offer extremely slow wireless speeds—measured in the single-digit bits—to low-cost devices with long battery life. The company sells its service as an inexpensive alternative to other IoT services in the country.