Dutch 'Internet of Things' startup Undagrid has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), Amsterdam airport Schiphol, Rabobank and the Delft University of Technology - who together manage an investment fund dubbed Mainport Innovation Fund (MIF).
Undagrid basically offers a platform to connect devices with each other and the Internet.
The company's technology lets devices form their own self-expanding network, instantly, without any configuration or the need for any type of controller. Crucially, Undagrid claims it can work on a single battery for multiple years.
An IoT network sounds simple enough, but there are massive opportunities for enterprises to use the technology - no wonder Undagrid targets the aviation, logistics, building and agriculture industries.
Undagrid's CEO and co-founder Rolf van de Velde explains its solution thusly:
"Companies usually have multiple objects to manage, from big to small. Up until now, if they had no power, there was almost no way for vital information about these objects to be shared, such as the location, temperature, or their current status. If a situation like this occurs, it's always a matter of: where exactly are the objects now and/or what's the status of the objects? Undagrid technology ensures that objects, not matter what size, share useful information not only with each other, but also with the people operating the objects." Earlier this year, I met with the founders of the Dutch startup at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and came away impressed with their solution and team. The company has already picked up a few awards, including the EIT Digital Idea Challenge from last year, and 'Best Internet of Things Startup' by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology of the EU.
Undagrid's network technology has already been applied with GSETrack, a joint venture of the startup and S-P-S International. It's essentially a "track & trace" solution that enables non-motorised objects or objects that aren't connected to the power grid to be monitored in an energy-efficient manner.
The application is used in places such as Schiphol Airport (one of its new investors), where baggage carts and aircraft stairs are fitted with Undagrid technology. The devices on the objects transmit information to nearby devices, which in turn relay this information to others in their vicinity. This is how ground equipment such as dollies, carts, and staircases communicate their position to each other.
Keep an eye on this one!