Once used as a tool for an application, Internet of Things (IoT) has now become one of the widest ecosystems. It is currently the center stage for industries like energy management, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, etc. Previously dictated by big names like IBM, Google, Ericsson, Apple and Amazon, the IoT space has now become a startup ecosystem enabler world-wide. Though it was the Internet that drove the emergence of e-commerce startups, IoT is facilitating the growth of this decade’s tech startups. What lightning does to mushrooms, IoT has done the same to startups!
TempoGo, a Goa-based startup, provides an IoT and SaaS solution to the transportation industry. The platform’s IoT layer is a GPS-based hardware unit, including a built-in vehicle immobilizer, that can track the location and speed of a vehicle. It also includes sensors that can monitor door-open and temperature-variation status of the load-bay, plus an OBD 2 adapter that can automatically record and transmit the engine’s data as well as vehicle’s behavior including acceleration or deceleration. The SaaS layer includes Trip and Fleet Management software and a dashboard for actionable business intelligence using data analytics.
The tech team of TempoGo defines it as a unique combination of IoT sensors – GPS, temperature, door closing on the vehicle plus a SaaS platform. It provides simple answers to some key questions like- Is my driver driving dangerously? Is he pilfering fuel? Or is he adhering to pre-decided routes? What state is my truck in? What is the temperature inside my cold-chain container? How can I reduce my vehicle insurance premiums?”
TempoGo won the Startup-O global venture competition against 59 ventures that participated from 11 different countries. And as a winner, it received a $250K investment from a Singapore-based seed fund – Javelin Startup-O Victory Fund. It also raised additional funding from NB Ventures of Dubai that is a $50+ million fund whose Indian investments include participation in the Series A of LetsTransport and the $7 million Series A for HealthifyMe. This raised the quantum of TempoGO’s seed funding to over $ 1.35 million (Rs 9 Crore), including funding from K2 Capital of Hong Kong.
The most amazing thing about TempoGo is that it does not compete with the clutch of transportation startups and marketplaces. In fact, it enhances their service-delivery. For instance, Mr. Harsh Bhageria, co-founder of Aaho Trucks, an inter-city truck aggregator with almost 2,000 vehicles on its platform, says “Lack of availability of trucks and visibility into the location is a key problem of trucking in India. Using TempoGO APIs, we are now able to monitor all our vehicles and integrate location-based features into our solutions for shippers and fleet owners.”
Vikas Goyal, the Managing Director of Shree Roadways, a three-decade-old transportation company that assigns through contract over 6,000 long-distance trips every year says, “A lot of fuel is wasted if the vehicle engine is ‘On’ even when idle. Earlier, there wasn’t any way for us to remotely track the vehicle’s engine status but now with TempoGo’s solutions, it can be done within 30 seconds, reducing fuel consumption by over 15 percent. We have been involved with TempoGO since the very first day and they are helping us ensure service-level standards even through a fleet that is contracted.”
TempoGO’s integrated platform is successfully connecting vehicles, people and trips. Also, it is working with many companies to dramatically improve the productivity of a commercial vehicle fleet, be it passenger or freight.
Considering factors like fundings, market spaces, ideas and innovations, founders’ background and scalability, it is safe to say that IoT startups have a great future – being able to customize their services in accordance with the local demand.