A local market pegged at $9 billion, and a global one at $30 billion, IoT (Internet of Things) is no longer restricted to sci-fi. Here are some IoT startups that are transforming businesses and consumers’ lives.
Smarton’s Hyderabad office looks like any typical one. It, however, is anything but typical. For starters, an employee does not need a badge or fingerprint scan. Doors open thanks to facial recognition software, and that’s just the beginning.
Lights get switched on as an employee enters her cabin, a checklist of the tasks for the day are up on a digital clock, and the technology goes as far as brewing a coffee. While this might sound like science-fiction, there are hundreds of thousands today, and hopefully millions tomorrow, that are harnessing the power of IoT (Internet of Things) to make life easier.
India IoT scenario
A NASSCOM and Deloitte report says India will soon have 1.9 billion IoT devices installed, with a market size of $9 billion. Until recently, IoT has been restricted to big corporations like IBM, Bosch, Cisco, Qualcomm and others, but not any more. A study by research firm IDC estimates that by 2020, there will be over 28 billion objects with data exchange capabilities, or simply put, part of the IoT space.
For close to 10 years now, startups have been eyeing this space, and even flexing their muscles here. Some, like Blume Ventures-backed Zenatix Solutions, Stellapps, Smarton and Carsense have made waves in the IoT space, while many others are in the ready to be disruptors.
Typically, IoT works in different sectors like enterprise, home automation, industry, transportation, utilities (electricity and gas), healthcare, and consumer electronics.
Ahmedabad’s Ecolibrium Energy, which raised $2.6 million in funding last year, started in 2008, but most others began operations only post 2010, and are still in the nascent stages.
According to YourStory Research data, since 2015, IoT startups have raised approximately $54.5 million in funding across 38 deals, 15 of which were undisclosed. In the last financial year that ended March 31, in all 11 deals were closed in the IoT space, with a total funding amount of $15.5 million. Five of the 11 deals were undisclosed.
In 2017, venture capital funding for US-based IoT startups reached a peak as investors poured $1.46 billion into startups, according to Crunchbase. That’s up 42 percent from $1.03 billion in 2016, and 216 percent more than the $461.7 million raised in 2013.
While the numbers in India are nowhere close, IoT in India is picking up, and growing.
Below, a list of 10 promising IoT startups
While few startups in the below list were founded as early as 2012 and 2013, they feature on this list, as they continue to grow and have a strong presence. This, however, isn't an exhaustive list of the IoT startups to watch out for.
1. Tyre Express
Founded in 2015 by Dinesh Wakale, an alumnus of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, and Brijesh Shukla, from Said Business School, Tyre Express is a B2B startup that lets truck fleet operators track and monitor the performance of their vehicle tyres in real time.
The platform helps a fleet operator improve fuel efficiency, operational efficiency, and enhance tyre life. Tyre Express is also believed to be collaborating with tyre manufacturers. The company raised undisclosed funding in April last year.
IoTrek is developing technology solutions to make infrastructure and outdoor work-sites safe and smart by using intelligent sensors, low power wireless networks, and machine learning software.
Founded by IIT-Roorkee alumni Piyush Vishwakarma (CEO), Kamran Alam (CTO) and Prerak Ujgare (COO), IoTrek is building solutions like "connected workforce" for the construction industry. The startup works with some large construction companies in the US and in India to improve safety and productivity at field sites.
IoTrek has low-power tracking devices embedded with motion sensors to connect people and assets in real time over long-range wireless network infrastructure. It aims to save millions of dollars in operations costs for infrastructure companies by implementing various use cases on a single network infrastructure.
3. DeTect Technologies
Founded by IIT Madras alumni Daniel Raj David, Tarun Kumar Mishra, Karthik R and Harikrishan AS and their professor Krishnan Balasubramaniam, Detect Technologies is a Chennai based IoT startup.
It focuses on asset integrity management, especially in the conventional oil and gas industry, and has built a unique, patented technology for pipeline condition monitoring in real-time using a long-range ultrasonic sensor for temperatures of up to 350 degrees Celsius.
The solution will help reduce productivity losses due to a breach. The company also offers Noctuan intelligent solution for structural health monitoring on hard-to-reach assets such as stacks, columns, pipe racks, vessels, tanks, boilers, chimneys etc, and has several Fortune 500 companies as its clients.
Started by friends Adarsh Kumar and Saumitra Singh, TagBox uses IoT automation and analytics as the foundation of its cold chain supply business. Sameer Singh joined TagBox as a founder and the company came into being in August 2016.
It helps ]clients create reliable and sustainable cold chains through comprehensive solutions that use IoT, advanced analytics, as well as automation and control, which gives real-time visibility of the entire cold chain (cold storage, cold transit and retail refrigeration). This helps reduce product spoilage, helps meet compliance requirements, cuts energy costs, prevents theft and pilferage, decreases cargo insurance premiums, and optimises transportation costs.
Based in Singapore, CoveIoT is a brand of the startup KaHa, which has offices in Bengaluru, Shenzhen and Geneva. Operating in the IoT and wearable tech space, CoveIoT helps startups and brands launch different smart products. It uses wearable technology to enable digital payments, GPS tracking and also to monitor health and wellness.
6. Open App
Open App is an Indian technology startup that specialises in smart locks in the Internet of Things sector. The company aims to provide a scalable solution to solving key management and theft issues for enterprises across sectors.
Open App was conceptualised in March 2014, but officially incorporated only in early 2015. The founders, Gotama Gowda (26), Rajshekar Jenne (28), Siddhesh Keluskar (25) and Mayur Chavan (27), researched the sector and pivoted from their initial idea of a services-oriented model to focus on an end-to-end smart lock solution.
Based in Goa, TempoGo is an IoT and SaaS solutions company focused on the transportation industry. The platform’s IoT layer is a GPS-based hardware unit that tracks the location of a vehicle, and its speed. It also has a sensor to monitor any fuel pilferage. If needed, the unit also tracks the temperature for refrigerated trucks and records and transmits vehicle data and behaviour.
8. Faclon Labs
Founded in 2016 by IIT-B alumni Rishi Sharma, Archit Naraniwal, and Utkarsh Srivastava, Faclon Labs detects leaks, tracks supply, and provides insights on local water consumption patterns using data mining technologies and predictive analytics.
It has developed a product that mines data at water pumping stations in rural and urban locations and offers rich insights to help build efficient water management systems.
Facilio uses IoT and Machine Learning to assist building operations, sustainability performance, workforce efficiency and occupant comfort, all in real-time. IoT and Machine Learning is used to harness data from multiple buildings to make sense for building asset managers.
The platform makes software for facilities and buildings, integrating fire safety systems, air-conditioning systems, and lift systems.
Flutura Decision Sciences and Analytics, an Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) startup, provides insights to drive industrial outcomes based on the capability machines and systems to interpret signals from connected assets and connected processes.
The company leverages machine signals in the engineering and energy industry to power new monetisable business models. Flutura Decision Sciences fills a gap in the marketplace to bubble up previously undetected machine signals which impact industrial outcomes. It does so by mining IoT sensors, assets, and operations data using its data science platform – Cerebra.
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