Mason: How This Mobile Infrastructure Company Is Now Valued At More Than $100 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 21, 2019
  • Mason, the world’s first provider of mobile infrastructure for smart hardware products, recently announced it raised $25 million at a valuation of more than $100 million

Mason — the world’s first provider of mobile infrastructure for smart hardware products — recently announced it raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Coatue Management with GGV Capital and Base10 also joining as new investors. Mason also announced it has welcomed Coatue executives Thomas Laffont and Arielle Zuckerberg to its board of directors.

This round of funding will be used for accelerating Mason’s platform innovation and hiring growth to serve more enterprise customers in new markets.

“Building integrated hardware and software solutions is incredibly complex – which is why Coatue is thrilled to invest in Jim and the Mason team. Mason lets software companies get back to focusing on their core competencies by giving them the critical tools needed to launch dedicated smart hardware initiatives in a matter of months,” said Zuckerberg. “Businesses can save the time and cost of building, deploying and managing dedicated hardware while reaping the benefits of capturing data and addressing customer pain points in unprecedented ways.”

Mason’s customer use cases include patient engagement solutions within hospitals, electronic data capture for clinical trials, electronic logging for trucking, ordering kiosks at restaurants, dedicated gateways for medical devices, etc. All of Mason’s customers share a common need for delivering their software on dedicated hardware to help end-users collect and interact with critical data.

“We’re honored to have the backing of this amazing group of investors. It’s a powerful endorsement of the market need and our mission to help anyone build and deliver smart hardware products in as little as two days. We’ve seen the incredible impact dedicated devices can have across every major industry, but there have always been major roadblocks going to market. Our goal is to remove those barriers and make delivering game-changing software on dedicated hardware easy and affordable,” explained Mason founder and CEO Jim Xiao.

What makes Mason’s solution unique is its software innovation combined with speed and efficiency of global supply chains. Mason OS — the operating system — has more than 500 low-level optimizations and a command-line interface that can be integrated with existing app workflows along with SDKs that give apps better connectivity, according to VentureBeat.

“Mason is building a strong platform that harnesses hardware innovation with a layer of enterprise-grade stability, control, and security. This unlocks the power of hardware-enabled software and services for everyone, from enterprise CIOs to product owners to individual developers,” explained GGV Capital managing partner Hans Tung. “We have a long track record of backing innovation across the enterprise and we’re betting on Mason to be as transformative to smart product innovation as cloud infrastructure was to software development.”

This round of funding will be used for fueling continued hiring growth, expansion of the Mason hardware portfolio, and strategic initiatives to expedite bringing smart hardware to market. Over the next six months, Mason is planning to give customers the ability to build, test, and deploy completely new or revamped product lines in under two weeks. And the company’s goal is to streamline anything that slows down the process of bringing products to market whether it’s upfront costs, manufacturing, delivery, testing, or app development processes.

“We are excited to be investing in Jim and the Mason team as they scale out their transformative platform,” explained TJ Nahigian — the Managing Partner at Base10. “Mason is unlocking a rapidly growing number of real economy use cases for smart devices that previously were not addressable with existing solutions.”

Mason is a Y Combinator alumni. And its previous investors also include Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen.

According to Xconomy, Mason’s $25 million funding round gave the company a valuation of $100 million to $125 million.

Xiao launched Mason back in 2015. Before that, he worked at Microsoft in Beijing after graduating from the University of Washington graduate. After returning back to the US, Xiao became an analyst at Detroit Venture Partners.

Mason also receives many electronic components from China, which it uses for building products for its customers. Customers are able to pick from a portfolio of hardware with different screen sizes. 

In terms of revenue, Mason saw more than $5 million in Q1 of this year. There are 24 employees working at the company and the plan is to double by the end of the year.