The ENERGY INNOVATOR column by Renewables Now is published with the support of EIT InnoEnergy, the European sustainable energy accelerator. Our next blitz interview is with Smartivate, а company offering a platform for plug-and-play smart home devices.
May 22 (Renewables Now) - As devices get smart and smarter, improving home energy management should be getting easier... unelss you have to deal with incompatibility. Anand Narasipuram and Jeevan Dasan, co-founders of Smartivate and EIT InnoEnergy Master School Alumni, tell us more.
What is your product/solution?
Smartivate is a German-based start-up that built Europe’s first platform for plug-and-play smart home devices to help the public buy compatible smart home solutions for better home energy management.
With the Smart Home Configurator, Smartivate makes it easier for customers to make informed choices and increases market competition by solving the problem of incompatibility and interoperability between devices caused by different protocols that exist in the market.
In the smart home world, there are a number of platforms built by product manufacturers, however, these are like conventional filter systems which recommend their own brand over others. In contrast, Smartivate guides the customer intuitively by understanding their needs and suggests cross-branded, compatible, tailour-made solutions based on their budget, preferences and, crucially, their existing home infrastructure.
Who are your clients?
We are currently operating in Germany. About 35% of Germans already use smart home components that are either controlled via smartphones or are completely automatic. However, growth has slowed in recent years due to incompatibility problems. This creates a bigger opportunity for Smartivate to address this challenge. Some examples of Smartivate’s customers in Germany:
- HomeandSmart GmbH -- Germany's leading consumer portal on smart home, connected living and e-mobility. A white-labelled smart home configurator;
- Nassauische Heimstätte (NHW) -- Hessen’s largest real estate company, an exclusive configurator with focus on energy efficiency and smart home security built for the tenants of NHW;
- U&I Smarthome OGH -- a digital consulting tool built for a smart home installation company in Karlsruhe;
The focus is now on Germany, Austria and Switzerland and we are in the process of establishing partnerships to start operations.
What are your priorities and goals for 2020?
Smartivate has a dynamic team, looking for an investment of around EUR 400k to further develop the product and grow the company.
The next big goal is to enhance the scope of the Smartivate platform. Developing from a recommender system, Smartivate has plans to integrate smart devices with other technologies, like solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery systems, available in homes through its platform, taking a more active role in home management. An energy management kit is also being developed to make homes more eco-friendly and cheaper to live-in. It will keep track of one’s lifestyle and suggest ways to consume as less energy as possible, thus reducing costs.
Building an interface for home and energy management can transform energy into a more digitally managed service. Going beyond energy supply and including fully connected home solutions by providing more technology-based services to consumers could certainly be the next growth area for utilities – Smartivate will be perfect enablers of this business model.
What is EIT InnoEnergy’s role?
Both Smartivate founders are graduates of EIT InnoEnergy Master’s in Energy Technologies. Anand and Jeevan were trained not only in top technical skills but also in innovation and entrepreneurship through the InnoEnergy programme to help elevate Smartivate from an idea to a successful business.
As more than just a start-up investor or educator, EIT InnoEnergy has supported Smartivate through its wider network and mentoring support.