Homegrown IoT startup Spark goes to market, starts shipping Cores



Minneapolis’ Spark Devices is undergoing a startup metamorphosis.

This week the Arduino compatible ‘WiFi for everything’ hardware/software venture officially began fulfilling their commitment to 5,000+ Kickstarter backers who gave them half a million dollars this summer with hopes of connecting more dumb devices to the machine.

13,000 Spark Core units are in the first batch going out this week, 60% headed to the US, 40% spread across 6o other countries around the globe.

“This is one step closer to fulfilling our vision of being a platform player in the Internet of Things,” says CEO Zach Supalla,

While Spark’s slogan may be simple, orchestrating the rollout is anything but easy.  There’s the Spark Core manufacturing, firmware, two mobile apps (Android & iOS), four cloud service modules, shipping/freight logistics, and inevitable debugging.

“The timing of all these pieces coming together is incredible, everyone on the team is working on a different piece of the puzzle simultaneously to deliver rewards to our awesome backers,” he explains.

Choosatron and Qbox Smoker are two notable hardware startups leveraging the power of Spark’s open WiFi package.

Spark has 9 employees now, including Supalla; seven are in Minnesota, one is in China and one is in India.

The venture raised roughly $250k in seed capital after an initial Kickstarter fail, but before their comeback, which netted another comparable round of seed investment.

“We plan to raise more capital next year…we wanted to prove that we could deliver on our first commitment before going back to the table to raise a more significant round.  It’s been a long journey, this is a great milestone, we have so much further to go.”


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