Kii Expert of the Week: Masanari Arai, CEO / Founder, Kii
This week we sit down with Kii CEO and Founder, Masanari Arai to discuss a new commercial market for IoT.
Q: Can you tell us how Kii came about and specifically how you got into IoT?
A: My entire career has been in wireless technology and mobile. In 2006, when I was with Intellisync Corporation, we were acquired by Nokia. About a year later, I decided to leave Nokia and that is when I spun Kii out of it. We had contracts with Softbank, NTT Docomo and device makers – and that is really when the company formed.
Q: If a start-up wants to develop an IoT solution, what do they need to think about?
A: They need to be able to build 3 things – device development, cloud side and a mobile application. This is where Kii comes in: you don’t need to do all of this development of user management, data storage, analytics, etc by yourself – don’t waste all your money on this when Kii can do all this for you! Kii provides a platform to help develop IoT solutions.
Q: IoT distribution is very important – how can one monetize an IoT device?
A: While a traditional hardware sell is still an option, you can now provide a very interesting monthly type of subscription service. For example we have relationships with lots of device manufacturers. We can introduce them to carriers, cable companies or other organizations with billing relationships already in place: the service providers can handle all the monthly billing relationship with the end customer and they can then provide a revenue share back to the manufacturer.
Q: Can you talk about SPACE?
A: Space is an IoT ecosystem that was created between Kii, Brightstar and Softbank. Since Brightstar has a lot of distribution customers and billing relationships with carriers, and Kii has device manufacturer relationships with interesting solutions, this creates a supply-demand ecosystem.