A company that digitally maps the inside of hospitals, train stations and airports so people can use their mobile phones to find their way around is being helped by Microsoft.
Situm is one of eight firms that have been accepted onto Microsoft’s Accelerator Programme in London, which offers business advice, cloud services and office space to start-ups to help them grow – without taking a stake in return.
Situm, which was founded in Spain, allows the owners of public buildings to upload floorplans to an online dashboard, mark points of interest and create indoor paths. Situm’s service can then be placed into apps to allow people to navigate that space, regardless of how big it is or how many floors there are.
Users of the app can also be shown on the maps, allowing hospital patients to find a doctor in his office or shoppers to locate friends in a retail centre, for example.
Víctor Alvarez Santos, chief executive of Situm, said: “We are very happy to be joining the London Accelerator as we believe Microsoft can help us expand into the UK market and go global. I was already planning to move the company to the UK, and have been meeting investors in London, so to now have an office there, it was the right opportunity at the right moment.”
A spin-off from the Advanced Technology Center of Santiago University, Situm is used in 25 hospitals in Spain’s Galician region and by Prosegur, one of the largest security companies in the world, as well as having a presence in other parts of Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. In addition, the security service at this year’s Mobile World Congress will use Securitas Location, which is based on Situm’s indoor positioning service.
The other companies who will join Microsoft’s London Accelerator are:
- GainX – Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural analytics, GainX helps businesses identify the behaviours that block or accelerate ideas. Using network analysis, it also identifies talent gaps across organisations.
- iProov – Founded in London in 2011 to focus on enabling users to log into online services simply, yet securely, iProov specialises in facial recognition software.
- Lifesum – A Stockholm-based start-up, Lifesum’s app combines applied psychology with personal preferences to help people form habits that build towards healthier, happier lives. It has 16m registered users.
- Metail – This company uses an intelligent algorithm and a fashion bot to allow online retail customers to see how clothes would look on their body before they buy them.
- Reach Robotics – This firm has created a next-generation gaming platform using mixed-reality. Players control real-life robots via smart phone or tablet to compete against other robots in real life or against augmented reality opponents
- Kwickie – This app lets you post a short video message to your friends, record their reaction and response, then share that new video with the world.
- PowerLinks – Its native advert platform can integrate and distribute sponsored content, search, eCommerce, responsive display and video content across all devices, globally.
Tom Adeyoola, Chief Executive of Metail said: “By digitising every garment and every body, Metail is striving to build the world’s first and unique data set around consumer body shape and size, resulting in exciting new ways to discover, share, shop and wear fashion.
“We operate in seven countries but have global ambitions. Having a strategic partnership with a major company is part of trying to achieve that goal. We are hoping that the Accelerator will generate strong relationships with Microsoft, to help us get the most out of cloud and analytics.”
The companies were chosen after a tough selection process that whittled hundreds of hopefuls down to just a handful.
During their four-month residency in the London Accelerator, the successful companies will be helped to grow their business. They will be handed free use of office space in the capital; one-to-one mentorship and support tailored to their needs; a curriculum featuring workshops on market strategy, fundraising, finance, intellectual property law, and marketing; $500,000 of open-source-friendly Azure cloud credits and free software; access to Microsoft’s products and potential investors.
Among the companies who recently graduated from the London Accelerator was video commerce firm Appiness, which has signed deals to launch in South Korea and Brazil, and Firefly, which has raised the largest Series A investment in UK edtech, at £4.5 million.