Using digital twins, Pinmicro helps companies identify workflow pain points

Founded in 2018, Tokyo-and Kochi-based Pinmicro helps organisations create digital twins of business operations using highly accurate real-time location systems (RTLS) and IoT data.

Using digital twins, Pinmicro helps companies identify workflow pain points

Wednesday February 15, 2023,

4 min Read

From AirDrop file transfer to keyless car door locks, ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology is currently finding its way in everyday use. However, the technology itself isn’t new. In the early 2000s, UWB competed with Wi-Fi for being the fastest wireless data transfer technology. Back then, it lost out to Wi-Fi and has since been used in medical and military settings.

In 2018, Tokyo-based Pinmicro became an early adopter of UWB when it developed a solution to help companies track their business processes using location data.

To understand how Pinmicro built its business on UWB, it is important to understand what the technology is capable of. UWB can transmit data across wide radio bandwidth, from 500MHz to several gigahertz. Just like Wi-FI and Bluetooth, UWB is another form of radio technology but it can transmit data at the rate of up to 1 GB/s within shorter ranges (10-15 metres) as it uses a pulse-based technology.

In simple terms, while being similar to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RFID, UWB uses ultra-low power and is a short-range wireless communication protocol that provides centimetre-level location accuracy in real-time.

Such accuracy is vital to enterprises wanting to fine-tune their processes. A digital twin helps companies find bottlenecks in business workflows and address them in real-time.

Founded by Tiby Kuruvil, Gijo M S, Jayaraj Gopi and Ravindranath AV, Pinmicro uses highly accurate real-time location systems (RTLS) and IoT (Internet of Things) data.

“The value proposition we offer is to optimise business operations using location data. The problem we really solve is indoors by helping businesses operate efficiently by using location data and creating a digital twin,” shares Ravindranath A.V, Co-founder of Pinmicro.

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The genesis

The startup began its journey by selling its solutions in Japan, a country that still has a large chunk of its clientele.

According to Ravindranath, it was easier for the team to acquire clients in Japan as he along with Tiby, Gijo had already built a digital solutions and services provider Innovature in 2005. 

It was while working on digital transformation projects at Innovature that the team built a solution to counter last-mile-related challenges.

“We needed to get to know where physically in metres distance where people or things were,” said the co-founder. 

The team decided to launch a completely new company Pinmicro to focus on real time location. Jayaraj Gopi was also onboarded as a co-founder.

By 2015, the team started toying with the idea and began R&D in late 2015/early 2016. It spent the next two years on Proof of Concept before formally launching the company in 2018.

Pinmicro currently has 60 employees. Its hardware, as well as technology research and development (hardware design, embedded systems and cloud services), happens out of its Kochi office. Apart from this, the company’s sales to the US, Indonesia, Oman, UAE, Philippines, and India are logged from Kochi.

Behind the scenes

Pinmicro’s real-time location solution helps enterprises scale their operational efficiencies and earn higher RoIs.

For instance, Pinmicro helped one of its clients in the railway industry to increase the efficiency of its operation by 20% and reduce maintenance cycle time by 25%.

The startup attached two of its hardware; beacon cards to machinery that came into the maintenance unit and beacon receivers inside the maintenance unit.

The platform provided the client with insights into the maintenance unit and notified the staff when the machinery entered the unit and of any delay or breakdown.

Funding and the road ahead

Apart from the Rs 15 lakh it received from Kerala Startup Mission for zero equity, Pinmicro is bootstrapped.

Incubated by NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore, NASSCOM 10000 Startups and GHV MAIL programme, the startup is now looking to raise funds from angel investors to expand its business.

The ultrawide-band market is projected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2020 to $2.7 billion in 2025 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 19.6% between 2021 and 2025, according to Markets and Markets data.

“The adoption curve is almost there. People are going to use it. So we have to really scale up,” said Ravidranath, adding that the startup is looking at about 7X growth in the next five years.

For the next three years, the key strategy is to build more awareness about the company through marketing, increase its sales and build its technology.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti