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Automotive

Eurobites: Irish IoT Player Cubic Raises $47M

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Brexit bites for Dixons Carphone; Israel's Bezeq sees profits shrink; Ericsson takes gigabit LTE into China.

  • Irish software company Cubic Telecom has raised €40 million (U$47 million) in a Series C investment round that drew funding from chip giant Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) and carmaker Audi, both of which had previously invested in the business, as well as Valid Soluciones Tecnologicas, a Spanish smart card maker, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Cubic, whose software platform supports connectivity services in cars and other "Internet of Things" devices, says the new funding will help it to expand its global footprint and make improvements to its platform. It also plans to recruit more engineering staff at its headquarters in Dublin. Cubic has now raised a total of about €75 million ($88 million) in funding and claims to have deals in place with more than 30 operators covering about 180 countries.

  • Brexit is starting to bite for UK mobile phone retailer Dixons Carphone, which says that "challenging" conditions in the postpaid sector will lead to a "shortfall in profits" this year. Shares in Dixons Carphone tumbled 30% in London in early morning trading, and were down 22% at the time of publication, after the company warned investors that it would generate between £360 million ($462 million) and £440 million ($564 million) in profit before tax this fiscal year, down from more than £500 million ($641 million) in the previous one. CEO Seb James blamed currency movements for driving up the cost of handsets, with the UK pound suffering after last year's referendum decision to quit the European Union. "We have seen an increased number of people hold on to their phones for longer and while it is too early to say whether important upcoming handset launches or the natural lifecycle of phones will reverse this trend we now believe it is prudent to plan on the basis that the overall market demand will not correct itself this year," he said in a trading update.

  • Bezeq Israel Telecom has suffered a 5% fall in second-quarter profits, to 358 million shekels ($99 million), and a 1.9% dip in revenues, to ILS2.46 billion ($680 million), compared with the year-earlier period, according to a report from Reuters. The company is said to be facing a number of legal difficulties: Several executives are being investigated by the Israel Securities Authorities over suspected wrongdoing, including allegations of bribery and money laundering, according to the Reuters report. There also appears to be some regulatory uncertainty over the operator's plan to merge its different units.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has helped China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) with the commercial launch of a near-gigabit-speed 4G network, the Swedish vendor announced this week. Services are now available in the cities of Guangdong, Hainan, Shandong and Beijing, providing peak speeds of 979 Mbit/s, while trials are underway in Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin and Jiangsu. Ericsson also claims to be the exclusive provider of the technology behind the telco's new LTE broadcast service, which is said to be China's first. It has not provided details of availability but says the service has been tested with passengers traveling on the Hainan Island high-speed train.

    — Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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