Three big changes and challenges just walk through indoo.rs‘ door: First, last week the Austrian supplier of indoor location technology partnered up with StickNFind, the market leader of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. Besides that, the startup has also been selected to participate in the “Entrepreneurship-in-Residence” programme, launched by the Mayor of San Francisco, and as if that weren’t enough, it also got a new CEO onboard – Hannes Stiebitzhofer, who will lead the company in its commercial international expansion.
As former Technical Director at LearningSigns and successful (co-)founder of several companies, Stiebitzhofer has expertise in the fields of entrepreneurship, management and software development. “One of the things I learned in the past was to work out deals with very large companies, which comes in handy now,” he told inventures.eu. “indoo.rs is now focusing on some global players, and I can really contribute to this.”
The company’s focus for international expansion is on markets with very high smartphone penetration, with Europe and the USA in the lead, Stiebitzhofer also noted. Yet, they also see a lot of interest and potential in Russia and South America, he added.
StickNFind as a strategic partner
Already last week, the Austrian startup announced their partnership with US-based StickNFind. Together they will exploit opportunities in the micro location-based services and provide integrated solutions. Customers will deploy accurate real-time localisation software for indoor venues, where GPS signal coverage is difficult to use.
“Having StickNFind as our beacons’ partner is a great opportunity for us. Not only do they provide the highest quality and most advanced BLE beacons for customers, but also give us the chance to continue focusing on our core competence – software development. We really see long-term benefits in this strategic partnership”, co-founder Bernd Gruber commentedon the new deal ina press release.
All good things come in threes
Alongside having a new CEO onboard and a partnership in the States, indoo.rs has also been selected to participate in the “Entrepreneurship-in-Residence” programme, launched by the Mayor of San Francisco. The project aims to bring together the private sector and City departments to explore innovative solutions to civic challenges that can lower costs, increase revenue, and enhance productivity. Nearly 200 startups applied for the 16-week collaboration. Selected as one out of the six finalists, indoo.rs will collaborate with the San Francisco International Airport on exploring and enhanced navigation and location-based services.
“We expect that the programme would be just the beginning of many projects like this, namely initiatives that require the cooperation of public bodies and innovative startups,” explained Marketing and Project Manager Alexandra Alexandrova. “We believe our technology would be of great use to the airport, supplying its customers with navigation and at the same time providing better coordination possibilities for the management itself. We expect to learn a lot from the project and to set an example for many airports worldwide.”
Funnily enough, it was during an 11-hour airport layover when Bernd Gruber came up with the idea for indoo.rs. Together with his former school and university mate Markus Krainz, he developed an indoor positioning technology enabling location services inside multi-storey buildings. Indoo.rs offers way-finding and routing, proximity marketing and interactive guides, analytics and asset tracking. In January 2013, the company announced its first successful funding round.