Sensefinity offers a complete blockchain-based real-time sensor solution for logistics.
As part of their journey on BlockStart’s Acceleration Programme, as a startup developer of blockchain technology, they were looking to further develop their solution and for new opportunities for collaboration with end-user SMEs that could validate and help them improve their “Sensefinity” blockchain solution.
We spoke with CMO Tiago Andrade to know more about Sensefinity and their participation in BlockStart.
In one paragraph, what is Sensefinity?
Sensefinity monitors the location and transport conditions of supply-chains’ assets. It uses trackers and sensors to generate real-time alerts, analytics for data-driven decisions, ML for predictions and blockchain to guarantee provenance.
Can you tell us how the idea for your startup began?
During the work done by Sensefinity’s core team while at Nokia Siemens Networks, the team became aware that logistics were in need for an end-to-end platform that could help monitor assets. Customers were looking for a plug-n-play solution that would have the sensors, trackers, telecommunications but also data processing and reporting. Since there was not such platform, we decided to build one.
What is Sensefinity passionate about achieving?
What drives us is the impact that our solution has in the Triple Bottom Line: whenever our solution helps a company reduce operational costs, reduce waste, save food, reduce carbon footprint thus having an impact in the business but also social and environment positive outcome that puts a smile on our face!
Who are the team members and what backgrounds do you have?
Orlando Remédios (CEO) and Hélder Castro (CFO) led R&D at Siemens SA. Rolf Glockler, our COO, was VP of Danone and former CEO of Loewenbräu.
Sensefinty has an accumulated knowledge and experience in logistics, retail, and telecommunications.
Can you tell us about the prototype you have developed with the support of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?
Blockchain was in Sensefinity’s radar for a while but being a startup you must be careful with your time and focusing only on what brings immediate value. BlockStart helped us build a prototype that could validate the impact of adding blockchain to our platform in our current market but also in creating new market opportunities. BlockStart guided us in the design and implementation of our updated value proposition, business model and go-to-market strategy complementing our logistics monitoring platform with blockchain asset provenance certification.
What were you most excited about in taking part of BlockStart Acceleration Programme?
Mentoring and Networking. Mentoring in BlockStart was awesome! Mentors helped us focus on what mattered most and develop an MVP that could evolve quickly from a prototype to a commercial offer. Networking with SMEs was key to understand what are the pains that SMEs have that could benefit from blockchain. As a bonus we got to engage with other startups and even build partnerships for join solutions and business development.
Which were the major challenges you have faced during the development and market/fit validation of your prototype?
There is a preconceived idea that blockchain is a tool for bitcoin/fintech only. Sometimes you need to educate SMEs on the benefits of blockchain for other use cases like logistics, retail, industry, etc. But once SMEs get the immense value of blockchain not only they get on board, but they also want to incorporate blockchain on their own value propositions.
What unique aspects does your company and the prototype you have developed have to offer to the market sectors/type of companies you wish to enter/sell and to the blockchain ecosystem in Europe, as a whole?
End-to-End platform and openness.
Usually, when a business is looking for a solution it needs an end-to-end product. Meaning that business don’t want to source HW from one vendor, negotiate telecommunication data plans from another company and, finally, buy a cloud application from a third company. They look for an off-the-shelf, ready-to-use platform. Sensefinity has such platform: customers just plug-n-play our sensors into their assets and they’re ready to see the information right away on our web dashboard.
However, logistic solutions don’t exist in a bubble. Integration with other IT systems is essential: be it ERPs, fleet management solutions or business intelligence applications. For that we offer a JSON API and weebooks.
Is collaboration with SME adopters important for piloting your solution?
More than important is key! SMEs’ use cases and pains are the driver for the solution. Technology is just an enable of value. The real value creation happens when you get to know the problem and fix it. True market validation emerges from SME collaboration
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
We want to be the standard for Internet-of-Cargo: when all the cargo transported in trucks, trains, vessels, and planes is monitored than finally you’ll have logistics visibility.
Apply to our Open Call #3. 1 week left!
In our 3rd and final Open Call, we are looking for early and growth-stage blockchain/DLT startups from all over the EU and H2020 Associated Countries in the fields of fintech, ICT and retail and will provide startups with access to a variety of perks, including equity free funding of up to €20.000, access to piloting opportunities, mentorship, and exposure to investors and advisors.
Interested startups should fill in an online application form at F6S platform. Deadline for applications is 26 May at 5pm CET (Brussels Time).
For more information on application criteria and how to apply, interested applicants can go to blockstart.eu and consult the FAQ section. BlockStart will also organize a Q&A webinars for future applicant on 12 May 2021 at 11am CET (Brussels Time), and you can save your seat here (takeaways of the previous Q&A webinar available here).