Rigado’s lineup of Bluetooth modules. (Rigado Photo) , a nine-year-old Portland, Ore. startup that builds commercial IoT products and services, to Swiss wireless company . Rigado sold off its , a group that builds hardware components to enhance wireless connectivity and make it easier to link up Internet of Things devices, the companies said Wednesday. As part of the deal, Rigado CEO Ben Corrado and six other Rigado employees will join u-blox’s Short Range Radio product strategy team. Rigado’s Salem, Ore. office will become a North American engineering center for u-blox. , Corrado said Rigado co-founder will stay on at the startup and lead its technical vision as chief technology officer, and will step into the role of president. Going forward, Rigado will focus on its “edge-as-a-service” solution providing connectivity for smart buildings, asset tracking, connected retail, and other applications. “We’re very proud of both our market-leading modules division and Rigado’s fast-growing edge infrastructure gateway business,” Rau said in a statement. “The value we capture from the acquisition of the modules division will allow us to further accelerate Rigado’s growth in the gateway market — especially in key solution areas such as smart building and asset tracking.” Rigado was founded in 2010 and it raised a lifetime total of $20 million, including a just over a year ago. It has amassed more than 300 customers around the world for its edge-as-service products and connected more than 5 million commercial IoT devices. Rigado has offices in Portland, Salem, London and Shenzen, China.
Sean Hsieh. (Flowroute Photo) Less than a year after selling his telecommunications startup, Flowroute founder has embarked on a new venture that aims to open up the world of commercial real estate investing. (Concreit Photo) Seattle startup is a soon-to-be-launched startup that will give investors the ability to invest in private buildings for as little as one dollar. “When I talk to my friends about owning a building, they just stop and go, ‘I don’t even know what to think about that, because I can’t connect with that thought,'” Hsieh said. “We’re trying to bring deals that only millionaires have access to and give them to an everyday investor for very small dollar minimum.” Concreit has raised nearly $1 million in funding from , a new Seattle-based firm co-led by longtime angel investor Andy Liu. Other Unlock portfolio companies include Crowd Cow, Make.TV and Possible Finance. Hsieh started Concreit with Flowroute co-founder and , who was formerly CTO at blockchain startups LifeID and StormX. The company hopes to launch later this year. The idea for Concreit was inspired by Hsieh’s own finances. “After selling Flowroute, I started to figure out how to diversify my portfolio,” said Hsieh. “And private commercial real estate became really interesting to me.” Hsieh to West Corporation last year for an undisclosed sum. Hsieh plans to use blockchain technology for certain aspects of Concreit, which could enable the startup to tokenize its position in certain investments. Concreit will be a mobile-first application with game-like elements in order to appeal to millennial investors. Concreit will initially give access to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), an asset class in which real estate is bundled into easily tradable securities. , a popular online real estate investing platform, uses the REIT structure for many of its assets. Federal regulations limit the access that ordinary investors have to commercial real estate, especially smaller scale projects. Concreit is exploring how different regulatory structures might be used to open up commercial real estate investing to more people. Hsieh said he believes that allowing non-accredited investors to participate “is really how we’re going to change this landscape.” A man of many talents, Hsieh was a hip-hop dancer in the first generation of — a group that was featured on MTV’s “Best Dance Crew” — and he also danced with professional teams Funkanometry LA and Mavyn.