The eSIM maker powering Xiaomi’s IoT devices raises $15M – ProWellTech
Connectivity is vital for a future managed and shaped by intelligent hardware, and Chinese startup Showmac Tech proposes eSIMs as an infrastructure solution for stable, seamless communication between the devices and service providers behind it.
Xiaomi accepted the proposal and distributed an investment for the startup’s angel round in 2017. Now Showmac has convinced more investors to be on board as it grossed nearly 100 million yuan ($ 15 million) in a Series A round. + led by Addor Capital with the participation of GGV Capital and Hongtai Aplus.
“We believe cellular communication will become a dominant trend in the age of IoT. WiFi only works when connected to a limited number of devices, but when the number increases dramatically it becomes unreliable,” said Lily Liu, founder and CEO. by Showmac, during an interview with ProWellTech.
Unlike a traditional SIM, short for “Subscriber Identity Module”, an eSIM does not need to be on a removable card, eliminating the need for the SIM card slot on a device. Rather, it will be soldered onto the device’s integrated chip during assembly and is valid for different network operators. For chip makers, Showmac’s eSIM functions as an application or software development kit (SDK), Liu noted.
The company started as a pilot project by providing eSIM to Xiaomi’s connected device ecosystem and subsequently created an entity when the solution proved its viability. Its main products today include eSIM cards for IoT devices, eSIM communication module and gateway, and connection management software as a service.
To date, Showmac has powered more than 10 million devices, around 30% of which are affiliated with Xiaomi, which through internal development and external investments has built an empire of IoT partners who depend on its operating system and reach of consumers.
Most of Showmac’s customers are suppliers of shared goods, those whose “ownership and right of use are separate,” explained Liu, who holds a PhD in economics from China’s prestigious Huazhong University of Science and Technology. . Luckin’s shared bikes and shared coffee mugs are just a few examples.
Showmac is certainly not a forerunner in the global eSIM space, but the founder believed that few competitors could match it at the level of supply chain resources, thanks to its ties to Xiaomi.
“As a relatively young, R&D oriented team, we are very fortunate to have experienced a large-scale industrial operation that churns out products by the hundreds of thousands and even millions every day. [Xiaomi] provided us with this precious opportunity, “said the founder.
With a staff of 40-50 employees between Beijing and Shenzhen, the startup is currently focusing on the Chinese market but has plans for long-term overseas expansion.
“We are not the first to produce eSIMs in the world, but being in China, the center of global electronics manufacturing, we are in a superior position to get things done,” Liu suggested.
The arrival of 5G is a boon boon, the founder believed. “5G will push back more IoT devices and applications, giving rise to the need for IoT [devices] with cross-carrier and cross-region capabilities, “he said.
Showmac says it will spend the newly raised capital on the mass production of its integrated eSIM modules, R&D, and business development.