Investing in new connectivity paradigms with HypeLabs

At the innogy Innovation Hub we are always on the lookout for new technologies and business models that will help to create the decentralised energy system of the future. In this future, we envision buildings and machines engaging with each other, largely without human intervention – a world where everything is smart, autonomous and connected and economically independent. To help build this machine economy based on the Internet of Things (IoT), we have invested in HypeLabs, a Porto, Portugal-based start-up that is on a mission to extend connectivity for smart devices.

By 2025, the total installed base of IoT-connected devices is expected to reach 75 billion worldwide, representing a fivefold increase in 10 years. In anticipation of the proliferation of IoT and soaring demand for spotless coverage, HypeLabs’ technology facilitates communication between devices even when there is no phone service or internet connection. The Hype SDK (Software Development Kit) works by intelligently connecting devices in local mesh networks using existing connectivity technologies, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, LoRa and others. The software enables content to securely hop between devices until it reaches its destination or an internet exit point. It automatically creates networks that work across any operating system and transport channel.

HypeLabs shares our vision of a more connected future where better communication will be paramount to understanding how much energy is being produced or consumed by which device and when. It is not just the devices that are getting smarter, but grids too. Therefore the need for trusted, reliable and interoperable communication is growing day by day. The need is starkest in rural areas – such as in small villages, agricultural fields, deep indoor or underground facilities – as well as in urban scenarios when too many devices attempt to connect at the same time.

innogy Innovation Hub led the $3 million seed round for HypeLabs, which plans to use the capital to strengthen its team and support international growth. ​Aside from its Porto headquarters, HypeLabs also has offices in San Francisco, London and Krakow, Poland. Other investors in the round include EDP Investments, Deutsche Telekom, AngelPad, Caixa Capital, NovaBase Capital and Mustard Seed.

“What makes HypeLabs special is that they don’t rely on specific hardware or specific radio channels to manage the network. It has a huge number of use cases, adding another layer of connectivity for connected devices that can be implemented simply on the application layer. We are particularly excited about the role of this technology within the decentralised IoT-based energy system where smart homes will require smart, resilient and reliable connectivity,” said Kerstin Eichmann, Strategy Lead, Machine Economy at innogy Innovation Hub.

“In a world where we see more connected and smarter devices in our daily lives, new connectivity paradigms need to emerge. Our goal is to simply connect every device even in situations where they couldn’t before, by building networks that self-configure, self-heal, self-optimise and self-protect. It’s time to bring intelligence to the networking stack, and this new partnership with, and investment from, innogy will allow us to keep growing internationally, as well as focus on one key market – the energy utility one,” said Carlos Lei, CEO, HypeLabs.

We look forward to working with HypeLabs to further build the blocks of a world where cloud computing is superseded by edge computing, enabled by communication at the edge – or where smart devices can exchange commands and data in real-time and in a grid-friendly way, and consumers can secure the lowest energy price during periods of high supply.

About HypeLabs

HypeLabs was founded on the belief that connectivity matters. It was founded after observing there was a huge gap between the way people connect and access information across developed and developing countries. HypeLabs believes in connectivity as a human right, as an enabler of growth and a tool to learn. It’s an equalizer of opportunities.

Today the company is on a mission to expand connectivity. HypeLabs believes in great software as a solution to make tomorrow’s connections more reliable, secure, affordable, and interoperable, and that new paradigms in connectivity are key in achieving a brighter, more connected, future.

In order to achieve such vision, HypeLabs created the Hype SDK, an interoperable mesh networking software that improves connectivity on all kinds of devices, from mobile to desktop to IoT, allowing such to connect even when there is no internet. The software works by intelligently connecting devices in local mesh networks using existing connectivity technologies, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, LoRa and others. This network enables content to securely hop between devices, until it reaches a destination or an Internet exit point, improving range and deliverability.

Founded in 2016, the company is located in San Francisco (USA) and Porto (Portugal). HypeLabs is an alumnus of AngelPad #10 (Spring ’16) and Deutsche Telekom WARP ’15.

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Investing in new connectivity paradigms with HypeLabs