8 startups that are using emerging technologies to make life easier for others in real world

Digital Dossier has identified startups that are using advanced technologies including AI and machine learning to provide a gamut of solutions in diverse areas

Headquartered in Atlanta and with operations in the UAE and India, Facilio provides firms with operations and maintenance (O&M) solutions. Founded by Prabhu Ramachandran, Yogendra Babu, Krishnamoorthi Rangasamy and Rajavel Subramanian, the firm uses Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to consolidate data from existing systems on the cloud.

The startup offers applications and modules for property owners to manage and control portfolio-wide O&M activities in real time; organize maintenance, compliance and vendor workflows; improve asset life cycle and sustainability performance; and engage with tenants.

Founded in May 2017, Facilio is currently used by leading enterprises to optimize more than 30 million sq. ft of space globally.

“We use IoT to connect existing building automation systems with everyday facility workflows thereby empowering the field management workforce with actionable data and insights, in real time,” says Ramachandran, chief executive officer of Facilio.

Additionally, the startup provides prescriptive AI-driven insights to every building stakeholder (including property operators and technicians) to proactively manage asset performance, and applies machine learning to predictively analyse performance of high-value assets and fine-tune energy performance.

The company’s offerings target large commercial building portfolios (like business centres, tech parks, entertainment complexes, enterprise campuses and malls) across different geographies.

With a strong base of active enterprise accounts and an increasing partner pool, Facilio plans to expand its base to the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific markets in the next 6-12 months, and build partnerships with channel partners like facility service providers, portfolio management and building management firms.

Civilcops: Building tech products for smart cities

CivilCops is a social intelligence organization, building civic-tech products for smart cities. Co-founded by Ashish Sharma, it aims to be India’s primary platform for governments to seamlessly connect with citizens and improve their efficiency by enabling citizen participation in public service delivery and execution. The startup was set up in April 2017 by Sharma and co-founder Vaibhav Gogia, who saw a gap in the public service delivery and citizen feedback loop.

How they are using technology to solve problems

CivilCops uses data and artificial intelligence (AI) to make grievance reporting and resolution faster and more efficient. “CivilCops takes away the pain and hassle of reaching out to government authorities. Our technology allows citizens to reach their government representatives at a click of a button. The team devised AI chatbots and voice interfaces which can be integrated with major platforms like Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger, Twitter or Amazon Alexa, so that it is easier for the citizens to talk to their own governments,” says CEO Sharma.

The startup also has a city management dashboard that consolidates public data, streamlines requests and workflows with automation, and leverages data to get actionable insights. Machine learning algorithms figure out the nature of the complaints, and the department that caters to this problem and sends it to the most optimal employee based on a number of parameters.

CivilCops is currently working with the governments of Haryana and Jharkhand. It plans to expand its presence to Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

The startup has been working on a solution to improve the functioning of transport departments by using data and AI to upgrade their existing communication channel systems.

CivilCops also aims to launch a product centred on women’s safety in the next two months. Finally, the firm wants to make its services available in regional languages.

Oxfordcaps: Providing technology-enabled student living

This students residence provider aims to create a technology-enabled and community-driven living experience for Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2015) students in India and Singapore.

Founded by INSEAD graduate Annu Talreja, who is the chief executive, and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta alumni Priyanka Gera, who is the chief operating officer, Oxfordcaps has expanded from 200 beds to more than 15,000 beds across 12 cities in under 11 months since its launch in India.

How they are using technology to solve problems

At Oxfordcaps, technology is the key differentiator. It is extensively used in enabling search and booking without site visits via virtual tours, hassle-free lease signing and payments, and machine learning-powered roommate matching.

The startup also uses its in-house technology-driven tools to streamline operations. Technology plays a major role in all aspects of property, vendor and inventory management.

The use of advanced artificial intelligence models generates more than 10 million hours of engagement programmes per year. This enables inter-residence communication with peers through social media groups for interaction, engagement and information exchange, career development and cultural exchange, among others.

Oxfordcaps also has an integrated communication hub to monitor energy consumption, pre-empt appliance outage, and optimize air quality and security.

The startups’ future plans include expanding to Indonesia and Malaysia.

“Our model of providing standardized student housing experience is highly scalable, and given our experience and brand presence in India and Singapore, we have become a natural choice for leading universities across the Asia Pacific region. This expansion will take us to 20,000 beds across 15+ cities, making Oxfordcaps the largest student housing manager in Asia,” claims Gera.

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