The venture capital branch of General Electric, GE Ventures, has invested in a blockchain startup, according to CCN.

Industrial internet of things

The startup is called Xage, which is an industrial security company. According to its website, it delivers “the only truly decentralized platform for protecting the Industrial Internet of Things.”

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‘Internet of things’ is a phrase describing a system in which everyday items are connected to the internet. ‘Industrial internet of things’ is thus an internet of things for industrial items such as factory machinery. According to its website, the Xage system secures such systems. The ‘Xage Gateway’ provides “authentication and enforcement”, the ‘Xage Broker’ synchronises the credentials of connected parties, the ‘Xage Cloud’ is a monitoring service, and ‘Xage Management & Configuration’ lets users control and audit their system, as well as detect possible attacks.

According to the official press release, Xage was valued at approximately $35 million before the fundraising round, and has raised an additional $12 million.

The round was led by a company called March Capital Partners, which is another venture capital firm. The amount contributed by GE Ventures was not revealed.

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General Electric is a multinational corporation which is headquartered in Boston. It is one of the largest companies in the world – it had the 13th-largest revenue of all companies in the US in 2017 – and its subsidiaries cover industries including healthcare, renewable energy, transport and aviation. It was founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison, the famous American businessman, by amalgamating Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Electric Company. It was one of the original twelve companies to make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

GE Ventures was founded in 2013 and is based in California, with additional offices in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Shanghai and Tel Aviv. According to its website, it has invested in 115 startups.

 “IoT revolution”

Abhishek Shukla, managing director of GE Ventures, said: “For industries to benefit from the IoT revolution, organizations need to fully connect and protect their operations. Xage is enabling the adoption of these cutting edge technologies across energy, transportation, telecom, and other global industries. We are excited to support Xage’s innovative approach.”

The transportation arm of GE Electric joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance in March 2018. BiTA is a “forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry” – according to its website, thousands of companies have applied for membership.

In March we reported in Alibaba, one of China’s biggest companies, partnering ‎with an IoT research institute to promote the establishment of ‘smart cities’ in that country, and in April IOTA, a blockchain specifically designed to be integrated into an IoT system, demonstrated its wares at one of Germany’s biggest industry conferences, the Hannover Messe.

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