The purpose of this CXTech Week 25 2021 newsletter is to highlight, with commentary, some of the news stories in CXTech this week. What is CXTech? The C stands for Connectivity, Communications, Collaboration, Conversation, Customer; X for Experience because that’s what matters; and Tech because the focus is enablers.
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Covered this week:
- Biometric authentication platform Transmit Security raises $543M
- Verizon acquires precise positioning company, Senion
- AT&T: We’re focused on growing wireless the right way
- Thank you from TADSummit Asia to all its presenters
- EMnify launches eSIM for developers, kick-starting end-to-end IoT CPaaS development in minutes
- People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
We’ve covered identity authentication for several years. And it keeps getting hotter. We reviewed some of the activity in CXTech Week 12 2021.
Identity and access management startup Transmit Security has raised $543 million in what must be among the largest series A rounds of funding ever, giving the Israeli company a valuation of $2.3 billion.
The raise comes amid a hotbed of activity across the digital identity verification and management space, with Okta recently completing its $6.5 billion Auth0 acquisition and Mastercard shelling out $850 million for Ekata. Data suggests businesses will spend around $9.4 billion on digital identity verification technology alone in 2021, a figure that’s set to grow to $16.7 billion within five years.
We’ve focused more on the programmable communications side, I covered last year the raises in identity authentication by Prove of $100M and BigID. We now have Socure raising $100M at a $1.3B valuation, and Seon raising $10M. I position Prove and Socure as direct competitors. Socure has focused on banks, and done a good job winning accounts from Experian. The cash will likely be spent opening up other verticals and possibly international expansion.
It’s interesting to note TeleSign’s Score dominates with the web companies, which gives it global reach, and a global identity verification product. Given Socure’s valuation, the price paid by Proximus for both TeleSign and BICS ($1.3B combined) looks like a steal.
A trend I’m seeing across an increasing number of identity authentication technologies is using the knowledge to get customers to what they want faster. We covered this at TADSummit EMEA / Americas 2020 from Smartnumbers and TeleSign. And in TADSummit Asia 2021 Guillaume Bourcy did a great presentation on TeleSign’s Findings on the Future of Digital Identity.
It maybe purely coincidental that the Swedish CEO of Verizon bought the Swedish company Senion. But regardless, this is an excellent move. Indoor location has many applications including:
- Emergency services, knowing the floor and even room of the person making the e911 call, a theme at TADHack Chicago over the years thanks to the IIT RTC Labs.
- Wayfinding at shopping malls (do they still exist?) and campuses.
- The perennial location based advertising and marketing. I think we’ve been talking about this one for 30 years.
- Occupancy detection, important for staying compliant with local COVID rules.
- And of course all the analytics and intelligence that comes with known precisely where people and things are. This is big business in supermarkets with heatmaps of foot traffic. Just make sure you do not forget your phone in the toilet, else the boss think you’ve been hiding in there for hours 😉
AT&T, the #3 wireless provider by subscribers, recently was asked about its aggressive handset promotions during a June 16 Bank of America investor event. The big question for investors being: Are they good for AT&T’s bottom line?
Last fall, AT&T announced an $800 credit to new and existing customers for older trade-in models. It was the largest promotion on an iPhone launch day, topping the $650 offered back in 2016 and the $700 that Verizon offered to new subscribers the year prior.
Verizon on June 1 this year announced “the biggest Verizon 5G upgrade campaign ever” with offers on select unlimited plans. It’s offering up to $800 off select smartphones when customers add a new smartphone line “with a qualifying Verizon mobile Unlimited plan” and trade in a qualifying device.
The MVNO market has proven tough outside North America as the price difference between wholesale and retail rates are small. In the US, with plans 2-3 times as expensive as the rest of the word there’s still room for MVNOs, e.g. Mint Mobile.
The issue facing AT&T is will families continue to pay $150-400 per month, versus $50-150, as phone upgrade rates continue to fall. I recently bought a refurbed OnePlus 6T for my son at $180, the same price as a new Nord 100. It’s as good as an iPhone and a fraction of the price.
The iPhone crowd do seem to enjoy overpaying for things. Perhaps the Android crowd will migrate first. $1200-$3600 per year in savings is one or two monthly healthcare payments for a family. It’s unclear for how long giving money away to customers will work. Like with PayTV cord cutting, people wake up to the savings, it’s just a matter of time.
Thank you from TADSummit Asia to all its presenters
We achieved impressive results: though the event we had 3k video views and the slides were viewed 14k times. These numbers will continue to grow as people come back to the excellent content. Some videos from previous events have been viewed by thousands.
Congratulations to Ruwan Dissanayaka & Thushara Rankothge for their presentation EVA from Sri Lanka, which was viewed 182 times in May 🙂
All the presentations are available though the agenda, there are weblogs on each presentation: https://blog.tadsummit.com/2021/02/16/tadsummit-asia-2021-agenda/.
I’ve also packaged up the presentations into slices:
- Conversation Intelligence: https://blog.tadsummit.com/2021/06/14/slice-of-tadsummit-conversation-intelligence/
- Open Source: https://blog.tadsummit.com/2021/06/16/slice-of-tadsummit-open-source-3/
- Applications: https://blog.tadsummit.com/2021/06/23/slice-of-tadsummit-applications/
- Potpourri: https://blog.tadsummit.com/2021/06/18/a-slice-of-tadsummit-potpourri/
EMnify, a previous TADSummit sponsor, announced this week eSIM for evaluation customers, enabling IoT developers to sign up and develop with the EMnify API immediately, anywhere in the world.
The eSIM lets users install EMnify’s global SIM profile on a compatible device in seconds without having to order and swap physical SIM cards. With the eSIM option, EMnify aims to speed up time-to-market of IoT projects and make life easier for developers.
People, Gossip, and Frivolous Stuff
Sergio Murillo is now CTO at Millicast.
Des Hartman is now Senior Solution Engineer at Twilio. I’ve known Des since his time in OpenCloud and he supported us at the very first TADSummit in Bangkok.
Jacy Smith is now Technical Project Manager at RevolutionParts.
Laura Marriott is now Business Development at MobiledgeX. I’ve known Laura since her time heading the MMA.
Hardwich Tholel is now Sales & Marketing Director at Triopt Group. We first met when he joined Altran.
David Collins is now Chief Revenue Officer at diwo. We first met during his time at Intel.
OysterHR just announced a $50M Series B. Many of the Nexmo folks now work there 🙂