Croatian Internet of Things Startup Expands Globally

Total Croatia News

Fast-growing startup already has more than 2,000 business users.

In September last year, Croatian start-up Sentinel was just a prototype, but today it is a fast-growing company with more than 2,000 business users. Last year, in its first year of operations, it reached almost million kuna in revenues and became a global leader in monitoring charter fleets, reports on November 14, 2016.

Sentinel became well-known among the general public after it received an award as the best Croatian startup in the Internet of Things (IoT) category at the Central European Startup Awards, and thus entered the competition for the number one in the entire region.

Marko Pihlar, the co-founder and COO of Sentinel, said that everything was happening very quickly and that they had so far focused only on product development, business model and sales network. “In Croatia, insurance companies in 2015 paid damages just in the nautical segment in the amount of 23 million euros, and there is a lot of space in which we can help both boat owners and insurers”, said Pihlar.

The company Sentinel has developed three hardware products called boat monitor, fleet monitor and Sentinel wifi, which turn regular ships into smart ships. In combination with a background cloud platform and a database, Sentinel allows boat owners to use a map on the screen of their mobile phones to see not only where one or all of their boats and ships are located, but also enables them to have accurate information on the status and all the key indicators of the boats. However, that is not a core business of Sentinel. Pihlar said that most of their income came from providing access to the data and commercially valuable information which they keep.

They have made possible to boat owners to contract more favourable insurance policies for their boats, if insurers are allowed to get access to data about accidents recorded by the Sentinel system. “This is favourable to both the owner and the insurer, because our system reduces insurance premiums and makes claims processing easier”, explained Pihlar.

In addition to the common interest in Sentinel, the four company founders are also employees of the famous Slovenian R&D technology company Xlab.

Pihlar said that they first took Sentinel in September last year to Barcelona, to one of the most famous European startup accelerators IMPACT. “It was clear to us that we needed not only technical innovation, but also business innovation, and IMPACT accelerator really helped up. We were one of the best startups in the generation and we have therefore received a donation of 100,000 euros”, said Pihlar. After a successful market testing in Croatia, Sentinel is now preparing for the next phase of its development: international expansion.

Pihlar explained that this year’s season in the northern hemisphere is over. “That is why we are in talks with a partner to immediately expand to markets on the southern hemisphere, particularly Australia and New Zealand, and we expect to conclude this year with twice as good business results as last year”, concluded Pihlar.


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