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Avnet acquires manufacturing consultancy Dragon Innovation

Acquisition target Dragon Innovation has a strong presence in the commercial IoT space, which includes customers in verticals like home health and drones.

In a move that aims to deepen its presence in the IoT space, Avnet announced today it has acquired Cambridge, Mass.-based Dragon Innovation, a manufacturing consultancy and software vendor, for an undisclosed sum.

Dragon Innovation helps new hardware manufacturers with the process of going from prototype to full manufacturing, providing customers with, for instance, access to experts, assistance with finding factories, and production oversight to more seamlessly scale their business.

Avnet, the Phoenix-based global electronics distributor, will integrate its component information with Dragon Innovation’s Product Planner, a cloud-based tool that helps new hardware developers better understand manufacturing costs leveraging their bill of materials — with the combination lending deep insight into things like cash flow and the cost of goods sold, according to Dayna Badhorn, Avnet’s vice president of emerging business.

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“We’re really excited that Avnet now has new tools to offer our customers; now we can get even further into the manufacturing of the completed product,” Badhorn said, highlighting the nexus between Avnet’s expertise around components and design and Dragon Innovation’s prowess with aiding in scaling and manufacturing the products.

There is very little overlap currently between the two customer bases, Badhorn said.

The new tools and services will be applicable to non-IoT and IoT hardware designers alike, but Avnet expects high interest on the IoT side because of Dragon Innovation’s strong presence in the commercial IoT space, which includes customers in verticals like home health and drones, as well as its pull in the Kickstarter community, a space popular for IoT-related projects. In May, Avnet and Dragon Innovation announced a partnership with Kickstarter called Hardware Studio, which provides content and tools designed to help startups better plan the manufacturing aspects of operations before they launch on Kickstarter.

In turn, as Avnet seeks to develop its own IoT hardware, it may use Dragon Innovation’s software and services internally as well.

“I love this space because it allows us to look at new technologies that are continually evolving, and create new ways to engage with Avnet,” Badhorn said.

 

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