BY TAYLOR SOPER on January 14, 2016
Fast-growing UIEvolution raises $10.2M of larger round for connected device software platform
UIEvolution is raising a substantial investment round to support growth of its connected device enterprise software platform.
The Kirkland-based company has raised $10.2 million of a larger round, CEO Chris Ruff confirmed with GeekWire today.
UIEvolution will use the funding to continue developing its software that helps Fortune 1000 clients in the automotive, hospitality, cruise, and retail industries deliver customizable connected experiences and services to their own customers inside cars, hotel rooms, and more.
“We had a phenomenal 2015 at UIEvolution,” Ruff said.
The company, which is profitable, inked several partnerships in the past year with cable companies like DIRECTV, cruise lines like Holland America, and car giants like Toyota and Ford.
Holland America can show daily menu items on guests’ in-room screens thanks to UIEvolution’s software.
“We are providing an enterprise software platform to help our customers connect with their customers while they are out in the world, whether they are driving in cars, staying in hotel rooms, or visiting shopping malls,” Ruff said.
UIEvolution added 60 employees in 2015 and now employs close to 200 worldwide — about 110 of those are in Kirkland. With the new funding, which will also be used to scale sales and product support around the globe, Ruff said he expects the headcount to reach 300 in 2016.
Part of that funding comes via a $5 million investment that the UIEvolution received from the Mirai Creation Fund, which was created this past November by Sparx Group Co., Toyota, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to invest in companies developing technology that helps achieve a hydrogen-based society.
UIEvolution has been around the block a few times, founded 15 years ago by Windows 95 architect Satoshi Nakajima, acquired in 2004 by Square Enix, and then spun back out into an independent company three years later. However, given the need from clients for connected experiences that replace decades-old technology, the company continues to reach new milestones.
“We’ve been running a solid company for years,” Ruff noted. “But now we’re growing exceptionally well because of the explosion with the Internet of Things and the connected car.”
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