Sigfox declared it had been forced to undergo insolvency proceedings in France, after financial difficulties associated with Covid-19 (coronavirus) caused a slowdown in business activity.

The IoT specialist told Mobile World Live a report by Le Figaro was true, after the French newspaper revealed a court was set to oversee insolvency proceedings for six months.

Sigfox aims to put an asset disposal plan in place, and stated it is actively seeking buyers to ensure its long-term future and protect employment.

It explained French law allows it to continue commercial activities while it seeks new owners.

Sigfox explained it had been hit by a “slower-than-expected adoption cycle for its technology” and the “IoT sector has suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic ”.

This had caused a slowdown in activity over the past two years and put pressure on the electronics market, meaning a significant impact to its financial situation and debt level, it explained.

Sigfox is punting an unlicensed IoT network which competes with licensed LTE-M and NB-IoT options. The company faced a shake-up in early 2021 when co-founder Ludovic Le Moan stepped down as CEO after more than a decade in charge, with no explanation offered as to why.

He was replaced by president of its US division Jeremy Prince.

Sigfox set lofty ambtions, predicting 1 billion devices to be connected to its network by 2023, and targeting major expansion in China, India and Russia.

However, it appears way off the target, stating it currently has 20 million registered “objects” connected to its network, processing 80 million messages a day.