KLM and Schiphol invest in Dutch startup Undagrid

Mainport Innovation Fund (MIF) has invested in the Dutch ‘Internet of Things’ startup Undagrid. MIF as an investment fund is a partnership between KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rabobank, and the Delft University of Technology. Undagrid is an award winning Dutch startup, named ‘Sprout Startup of the Year 2014’ and ‘Best Internet of Things Startup’ by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology of the European Union.

Undagrid technology has been applied with GSETrack, a joint venture of Undagrid and S-P-S International. This track & trace system ensures that non-motorised objects or ones not connected to the power grid can be easily traced in an energy efficient manner. The application is used at Schiphol Airport, where baggage carts and aircraft stairs are fitted with Undagrid network 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. An operator can check the location remotely via the cloud or a dashboard, which makes maintenance and equipment management for example more efficient and cost effective. Each device only needs one battery to keep the network operational for years at a time.

According to Undagrid’s CEO and co-founder Rolf van de Velde: “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.”

Bram Ledeboer, Investment Manager at Mainport Innovation Fund commented: “MIF’s investment, along with that of our partners KLM, Schiphol Airport, TU Delft and Rabobank, positions Undagrid to achieve their international growth ambitions as the communications solution for airport logistics faster. Not to mention, it helps them break into other markets outside of the aviation industry.”

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