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Polte raises $12.5 million to track devices using LTE signal

Polte has raised another $12.5 million. The company is building a service that leverages 4G (and potentially 5G) signal to track things around for commercial and industrial use cases. The main advantage of that is that using cellular signal uses a lot less battery than acquiring GPS location and transmitting it over cellular.
Today’s funding round is an extension of the company’s Series A round. In 2017, Polte raised $6 million — and the company is raising another $12.5 million this year. Polte isn’t disclosing the list of investors. The startup participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield.
There are many potential use cases for Polte, but most of them involve tracking stuff on the move with as little battery as possible. You could use it for your supply chain, if you’re running a logistics or transportation company, in the energy or automative industry, etc.
If you want to use an IoT device to track a package over multiple weeks, it can be a costly effort as you need to determine the location of the package using GPS and transmit the location of the package over the air. While GPS is insanely accurate, it also requires a ton of battery just to position a device on a map.
That’s why some devices rely on Wi-Fi signal to triangulate a position with a database of Wi-Fi access points. But that’s not as accurate, especially in the countryside.
Polte turns data from the cell modem into location information. It works with existing modems, Polte is a software solution. None of the computing is done on the device itself. Polte-enabled devices transmit 300 bytes of data back to Polte’s servers so that the company can determine the location a few seconds later.
This way, you can use cheaper IoT devices to track packages. And if you’re running a company that wants to track thousands or millions of items, that could help you save a ton of money over the long run.
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