32. C3 IoT

What are those devices saying?

Founder: Thomas M. Siebel (CEO)
Launched: 2009
Headquarters: Redwood City, California
$281 million
Valuation: $1.5 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Internet of Things
Artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing

George Kavallines | CNBC

This company's rather awkward name refers to the Internet of Things — the ever-growing number of industrial sensors and other physical devices now connected to the internet. C3 IoT was started by Thomas Siebel, the same man who started and sold Siebel Systems, the customer relationship management software firm, to Oracle in 2006 for $6 billion. The company started as a software venture for the energy industry. But after the recession, when spending on software in the energy industry had all but dried up, Siebel course-corrected.

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With so many products — everything from refrigerators to oil pumps — becoming connected to the internet, Siebel realized there was an abundance of information about how all these devices are performing. That's where C3 IoT comes in. Its software can read all that data and tell its owners — companies in industries such as aerospace, financial services, health care, retailing and utilities, to name a few — the most efficient ways to use sensor data in their supply chain management or if something is about to break down.

The Redwood City, California-based company has about 250 employees and did a reported $100 million in revenue last year. The company has raised $281 million so far from investors, including TPG Growth and Breyer Capital.