Safeguard leads $5 million investment in Downingtown-based ThingWorx

I tried to find out a little more about ThingWorx, the Downingtown "Internet of Things" platform startup that yesterday announced it had received a $5 million investment led by Safeguard Scientifics.

My first thought was to see if there was a SAP connection here, since SAP has been a leader in developing the Internet of Things concept, and there is indeed. CEO Russell Fadel was co-founder and CEO of Lighthammer Software Development, which was later acquired by SAP (after which he apparently stayed on with SAP for a couple of years). CTO Rick Bullotta also came to SAP from Lighthammer; at SAP he served as VP at SAP Labs, which was followed by a tour at WonderWare as CTO. There is no indication that SAP has been involved in financing ThingWorx, however.

ThingWorx had one previous round of financing from Angels and founders.

The Internet of Things (explored somewhat skeptically in this recent Economist article) describes the concept of interconnecting the virtual world, people and the physical world through the Internet. Though most likely to be seen today in manufacturing and military applications, other areas such as energy and healthcare are considered to have great potential. ThingWorx describes itself as "the first platform designed specifically for applications connecting people, systems and devices", although I haven't seen much detail yet on how it goes about accomplishing that. The company blog has this post about the founders and their vision.

ThingWorx held an official company launch on February 8 in Downingtown.