BlackBerry, which was once a global leader in phones but stopped that business in 2016, says the company has no plans for a sub-IPO for its IoT (Internet of Things) business.

The company, last year, announced that it could consider hiving off the IoT business and go for an IPO. Mattias Eriksson, President, BlackBerry IoT, has categorically announced that the plan was turned down by the board. 

“We have a separate P&L account, but we don’t announce it publicly. The CEO wanted to keep the company together. He had a convergence strategy for the company and he announced an initiative last year where the intent was to go for a sub-IPO. Meaning, you sell a portion of the shares of this business unit externally, but you retain control,” he said. “The board rejected that idea,” he added.

He, however, indicated that there are definitely many other options even if it decided not to go for a sub-IPO, however refusing to elaborate more on what they could be.

Eriksson was in Hyderabad for the launch of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) with about 60 engineers. After Canada, the India CoE is the second largest for the BlackBerry IoT division globally. The company (IoT division) has about 850 employees across the world. “We are planning to double the headcount in the next 12 months,” he said.

The company said it is working with all the major automobile OEMs, including those working in the electric vehicle segment in India.

IoT Centre of Excellence

The new ‘BlackBerry IoT Centre of Excellence, Engineering and Innovation’ would work on embedded software development for IoT industries. Eriksson said the centre would act as an Asia-Pacific hub for the BlackBerry QNX global developer network.

The company said the centre would help scale up operations to meet growing industry demand for its embedded software solutions and services.

BlackBerry IoT is also bringing its new initiative, QNX Everywhere, to India. By democratising access for students, partners and engineers to QNX development tools, the company said it would help create a pool of highly-skilled embedded systems’ developers familiar with the platform across India and around the world.

“The initiative will commence in early 2024, with further details to be available on the web site in the coming weeks,” a company executive said.