Meet Smart Huts, a software which ensures an efficient management of the commercials spaces through IoT devices (Internet of Things), measuring the processes and the resources consumption.
How did it all start, what’s the story behind your startup?
The property management software was developed by us in 2014 for a large logistic park from Transilvania. The landlord of the logistic park has considered in the beginning working with a property management software company from USA, because that is the largest and most developed real estate market in the world and has a couple of good solutions. The problem was that they asked him around 200.000-300.000 USD to customize the solution based on his needs.
This is where we entered the stage. Having worked with him before on different projects he trusted us and so we developed the software for a much lower price on the condition that we remain the owners of the software. 6 months later he had a fully functional property management software. When they started to use it we noticed that they were losing a good amount of time and money reading the utility meters. Logistic and industrial parks have 1-2 utility meters from the utility supplier and 100-200 meters for their tenants, whom they invoice according to what their meter displays. Many logistic and industrial parks have big losses (50.000 – 100.000 Euro each month), and a designated man that spends between 2-3 days and 1 week going to each tenant and writing down the monthly utility index. We wrote a technical project to automate this task and integrate the utility meters directly in the software. This way, the tenants and the landlords will have at each moment the live value of their utility consumption and can adjust their activity accordingly. After discussing with many real-estate developers and hotel/real estate managers (Skanska, Howard Johnsons, Radisson, Intercontinental, etc.) we found out that they would like to offer their tenants control of lights, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), blinds & shades, video surveillance and intrusion detection systems and asset tracking. We wrote another technical project and a business plan to integrate these systems in our property management software and we applied for 2 EU funding projects – one for 200.000 Euro and another for 450.000 Euro. At this moment our software solution is successfully implemented at 2 clients and in test at another 3 – one logistic park, one shopping center and one commercial center with 400 tenants. We also have a pending patent for a meter reader for analogic, non-smart utility meters.
What are the keywords that best describe your business
Property management software, IoT control, integration
What is your motivation? What gets you from thinking to DOING?
We like to create softwares, automation and security systems and IT systems. I have over 15 management experience working with big, integrated security and automation systems and Cristian has over 13 years management experience with enterprise IT hardware and software solutions. We believe in our software, it received a very good feedback from our customers and we think it can revolutionize the “smart-home” world by approaching the end-user through the Landlord sales channel.
How do you plan to IMPACT the world?
We are focused on bringing the smarthome systems in 100.000.000 houses.
The smarthome system market is now very fragmented. Too many protocols, lots of closed systems, a couple of cloud software solutions that claim they can integrate any sensor. But the main challenge remains the END-USER ADOPTION. The end-user is not that interested in installing a smarthome system because you need to have some basic electrical and IT knowledge to install them, they don’t provide big perceived benefit to worth the money and headaches associated with installation, they seem complicated to operate by non-technical people. And last but not least, they are quite expensive compared to the perceived benefits.
Selling big numbers in smarthome system market can come only through property owner installation. They have the man-power to install entire buildings, residential projects, industrial and logistic parks. They have the interest to market their properties as smart in order to rent them faster. And they have the money to do it.
Who is the team behind Smart Huts?
Ion Gavrilescu – 38 ani, Bucharest, ASE Bucuresti, Cybernetics – 2003, Managing Partner – Creative Engineering Solutions SRL – high-end automation and security integrator
Cristi Dragomir – 34 ani, Ploiesti, Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti, Facultatea de Aerospace Engineering – 2005, Managing Partner – Netlinx Systems SRL – IT and custom software integrator
Impact Startup Factory is an incubation program organized by Impact Hub Bucharest, Impact Hub Cluj-Napoca and Impact Hub Zurich, in partnership with the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation. The Social Impact Incubator is a partnership between Impact Hubs in Romania and Impact Hub Zurich to adapt an innovation and entrepreneurship methodology developed in Switzerland for growing Romanian communities through the power of startups designed for profit, people and planet. The initiative will be implemented March 2016 – February 2017 and is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union in total value of 73,116.72 CHF.