FRANKFURT, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Cubic Telecom, a supplier of data connections for cars and other “internet of things” devices, said on Thursday it has closed a new $46.5 million (39.4 million euros) funding round from investors including chipmaker Qualcomm and Audi’s venture arm.
The 11-year-old Irish start-up said new investors include Spanish mobile data card maker Valid Soluciones Tecnologicas and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). Cubic has raised a total of $83.5 million to date, with Qualcomm and Audi having invested previously.
The software company said the financing from the four participants will be used to fund expansion in China and the Americas while working with a range of major telecom operators, carmakers and enterprise technology providers.
Chief Executive Barry Napier said in an interview that the new investment will enable the Dublin-based company to increase hiring by 50 percent over the next 12 months beyond its existing 105 employees.
Cubic provides software that works like SIM cards in mobile phones for consumers, but tailors them to work in connected cars and machines used by logistics providers, large enterprises and retailers.
It works closely with more than 30 network operators who charge subscriptions to businesses, or indirectly, to consumers for these internet links. Cubic’s machine-to-machine internet connections run in 180 countries.
Cubic has partnership deals with big European network operators Orange of France and BT Group EE mobile unit in Britain, along with the largest telecom operators in the United States which will be unveiled later this year, Napier said.
In June, the company set a partnership with China Mobile Ltd, the country’s largest provider of high-speed mobile connections and the world’s largest mobile operator, with 835 million subscribers.
Cubic will hook up internet devices for global companies operating in China, including in connected cars sold in the country for at least one carmaker in the Volkswagen AG group, of which Audi is part, Napier said. (1 euro = $1.1807) (Reporting By Eric Auchard)