IoT is taking the world by storm and rapidly gaining ground. In 2015, there were about 15.4 billion connected devices. IHS says this number will grow to 30.7 billion in 2020, and 75.4 billion by 2025.
As the demand for connected device technology increases, so does the number of emerging IoT startups. But it’s not just US startups that are dominating the IoT market; there are many international IoT companies making waves. Latin America, in particular, is a region to watch.
Micromarket Monitor predicts that the IoT sector in Latin America will increase from US$14.2 billion in 2013 to US$44.4 billion in 2019. As Latin American startups ramp up IoT efforts, here are ten IoT startups to watch now.
Disruptive Latin American IoT startups
1. Higia detects early symptoms of cancer.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women worldwide, contributing 25.4% of the total number of new cases diagnosed in 2018. Mexican company Higia helps women detect early symptoms of cancer with non-invasive biosensors that use thermal sensing and artificial intelligence to identify abnormal temperatures in the breast that can correlate to tumor growth. If the device detects an abnormality, the app recommends follow-up steps for further screening with a healthcare professional.
Forbes Magazine Mexico named Higia one of “30 Most Promising Businesses of 2018,” and the company has raised a total of US$5.1M in funding. As of August 2018, Higia plans to enter the US market and begin clinical trials with Stanford Medicine X.
2. Jooycar creates a connected car experience.
Chile-based Jooycar provides connected car technology via a device that plugs into automobiles and syncs to a mobile app. The device turns vehicles into smart cars, delivering data about the driver and the vehicle, such as driving patterns, route optimization, and maintenance reporting. This information allows insurance companies to serve their clients better.
Jooycar’s usage-based insurance platform has incentivized many to subscribe to car insurance for the first time. The insurtech startup has achieved 400% annual growth and processed nearly 40 million kilometers on its platform by 2018, in Chile alone. Jooycar recently secured US$3 million in funding that will allow the company to expand internationally to the US.
3. Chipus Microelectronics saves power and extends battery life.
Headquartered in Brazil, Chipus Microelectronics is a semiconductor company offering power management products, data converters, sensors, and actuators as well as customized IC design services. Chipus serves IDMs, play foundries, and semiconductor companies worldwide, including the US, Europe, and Asia. The company has raised a total of US$2.5M in seed funding.
Chipus partnered with SiFive, a key player in the semiconductor industry, to customize technology making it easier for customers to save power and extend the battery life of IoT edge devices.
4. SensorBox offers a complete remote monitoring solution.
Brazil-based SensorBox helps reduce business losses caused by blackouts through cloud-based monitoring that predicts and reports problems with power sources. When SensorBox detects unusual activity, such as a temperature spike in a hospital, it sends an alert and allows users to control equipment remotely. It helps reduce losses for companies such as Internet providers, healthcare facilities, data centers, and restaurants.
5. Ubidots builds IoT applications.
Born in Colombia, Ubidots expanded quickly to global markets. The company offers an intuitive IoT application and cloud development platform. Ubidots started in Latin America but soon after launch joined the Boston MassChallenge Accelerator in 2014, which pivoted the business into a global product-based cloud IoT startup.
6. Agrosmart reimagines agribusiness.
Agrosmart is a Brazilian company that monitors environmental conditions in real-time through sensors, meteorological data, and image processing to help farmers manage their agribusiness better. Its technology also reduces irrigation costs and increases efficiency.
Agrosmart’s digital platform is helping companies, and farmers in Brazil, the US, Israel, and Latin America make data-driven decisions.
7. Citysense enables smart cities.
Based in Santiago, Citysense offers a shared infrastructure platform that helps fast-growing cities improve their quality of life. The company developed a network of sensors, located across cities that use IoT technology to communicate about specific city data. Its products can show a city’s air quality, track crime, and help companies understand potential markets through crowd counting.
Citysense raised US$1.7M in seed funding in December 2018. The startup has ambitious plans to increase the number of sensors in Chile from 140 to 1,000 by mid-2019, while also installing 1,500 across Mexico City by the end of 2019.
8. Tecrea develops IoT solutions.
Tecrea is the first Colombian company to develop certified IoT devices to transmit on the Sigfox network. The company created ibutton, which has multiple uses, including an ibutton animal. This tool gives real-time alerts and GPS locator of livestock, and its batteries recharge through a solar panel.
9. Fracttal is an asset management platform for IoT.
Also based in Santiago, Fracttal specializes in predictive maintenance for a wide range of industries. Its cloud-based software captures real-time information to predict and respond to possible failures.
After having served companies in 22 countries, the firm raised US$2.1M that will help it consolidate its presence in Latin America and expand into the US and Europe. Fracttal also partnered with Microsoft to access a database solution that will support its exponential growth.
10. WeTechnologies offers remote industrial equipment operation.
Accenture predicts that industrial IoT devices will add US$14T to the global economy by 2030. For industrial operations, monitoring and controlling equipment remotely can be challenging. We Technologies is a Chilean company that makes it easy for users to operate and automate industrial equipment remotely. Its platform helps businesses decrease operating times and save on energy costs. In 2018, the company raised US$2M in funding from HSC Capital Partners, the same investor that backed Jooycar.
Latin American IoT startups are solving real issues through innovative solutions. The global IoT market is expected to increase from US$157 billion in 2016 to US$457 billion in 2020, and Latin American companies will no doubt add to this market value.
More and more valuable will be the tech of safety and security in the new era of IoT and IoT devices. Companies who want to be at the forefront of tech — will also have to give us a way to protect our data.