Beijing, May 5, 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $4.5 million in Ayla Networks, a U.S.-based technology company, to help expand its business with manufacturers of consumer and commercial devices in China. This investment underscores IFC’s strategy of supporting early-stage technology companies with the potential of having a positive impact on the lives of people in emerging markets as well as China’s efforts in green urbanization.
Ayla’s software enables users to operate home electronic devices more efficiently with their smartphones to control things like heating and lighting remotely. Studies have shown that the smart control of devices can help reduce energy use for households by 10 to 15 percent. This is important for China’s development as its urban population is expected to reach one billion by 2030, exerting growing pressure on its environment.
“The Internet of Things is expanding at an increasing rate, and it is a global phenomenon,” said David Friedman, Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Ayla Networks. “Our customers have complex connectivity and data-management challenges as they seek to sell products in a global market. Our mission is to seamlessly combine the right technologies so that manufacturers, service providers, and others can build amazing products, ultimately generating greater customer value. We are very gratified with the support from our investors. This is only the start.”
IFC led the $14.5 million Series B investment round, which included co-investors SAIF Partners, Cisco Systems, Linear Venture and SJF Ventures as well as existing Ayla shareholders, Voyager Capital and Crosslink Ventures. Ayla plans to replicate its China business model in other emerging markets in the future.
“The investment in Ayla is expected to help China and other developing markets reduce energy use, cut emissions, and work toward their goal of green urbanization by harnessing technology more effectively,” said Nikunj Jinsi, Global Head of IFC Venture Capital. “Ayla’s platform complements the products of many of our partner companies that are innovating and changing consumer behaviors for the long-term improvement of peoples’ lives.”
IFC’s Venture Capital division provides equity financing to early- and growth-stage companies across technology focused sectors including clean technology, communications, solid waste and water, healthcare, education, and agribusiness. IFC offers an integrated approach that combines financing based on prudent commercial principles with industry expertise and assistance in maximizing the social benefits of projects while minimizing environmental footprints.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit