French IoT networks firm Sigfox revealed ambitions to go public in 2018, with the aim of connecting 100 million devices to its low power wide area (LPWA) network in two years.

The news comes after Sigfox raised €150 million to fuel its global expansion last month, taking its total funding to €300 million. Investors include the French government, Salesforce and operator Telefonica.

The company is jostling for position in the highly-competitive LPWA market, designed to connect objects at minimal cost and using low energy.

Rivals include LoRa and Ingenu, which use non-cellular networks and unlicenced spectrum, as well as “official” standardised offerings, such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, backed by standards body 3GPP.

Speaking to Financial Times in an interview, Ludovic Le Moan, Sigfox CEO, was bullish about the company’s future prospects, as he spoke of its IPO plans.

“We made €12 million last year, over €30 million this year and our goal is to cross €100 million in 2018 and go public,” he said. “The goal of this round is to be the last fundraising before doing an IPO and providing liquidity to our shareholders.”

For the IPO to happen, Le Moan said the company needed to increase the number of devices it has connected to the network.

It currently supports around 10 million devices, but this needs to be “at least 100 million devices to have a good story to tell for the IPO”.

He also reiterated aims to increase its global network from 26 countries to 60 in the next 18 months.

US expansion
Regarding the most recent funding, Le Moan said it will use the money to roll out 30,000 base stations across the US, with each station having the capability of connecting 1 million devices.

In effect, Sigfox is aiming to connect its US network to as many as 30 billion devices.

Indeed, volume will be key for Sigfox to succeed. Le Moan said the average customer fee stands at around $1 per year per device.

“It’s a very low margin business,” he added.