KLM and Schiphol invest in Dutch startup Undagrid

Aug. 25, 2015
Mainport Innovation Fund aids in continued international rollout of smart network technology for airports and other markets.

AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL – Mainport Innovation Fund (MIF) has invested in the Dutch 'Internet of Things' startup Undagrid. The investment made in Undagrid will enable the company to propel international growth and allow them to enter new markets. MIF as an investment fund is a partnership between KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rabobank, and the Delft University of Technology. Undagrid is an award winning Dutch startup, named 'Sprout Startup of the Year 2014' and 'Best Internet of Things Startup' by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology of the European Union.

Undagrid track & trace at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Undagrid technology has been applied with GSETrack, a joint venture of Undagrid and S-P-S International. This track & trace solution ensures that non-motorized objects or ones not connected to the power grid can be easily traced in an energy efficient manner. The application is used in places such as Schiphol Airport, where baggage carts and aircraft stairs are fitted with Undagrid network technology.

Objects share information

The devices on the objects transmit information to nearby devices, which in turn relay this information to others in their vicinity. This is how ground equipment such as dollies, carts, and staircases communicate their position to each other. An operator can check the location remotely via the cloud or a dashboard, which makes maintenance and equipment management for example more efficient and cost effective. Each device only needs one battery to keep the network operational for years at a time.

Communication between objects

According to Undagrid's CEO and co-founder Rolf van de Velde, "Companies usually have multiple objects to manage, from big to small. Up until now, if they had no power, there was almost no way for vital information about these objects to be shared, such as the location, temperature, or their current status. If a situation like this occurs, it's always a matter of: where exactly are the objects now and/or what's the status of the objects? Undagrid technology ensures that objects, not matter what size, share useful information not only with each other, but also with the people operating the objects."

Optimal use of vehicles

"Undagrid technology makes it possible to track non-motorized vehicles in real time, at low costs. This ensures optimal use of the vehicles, so we also need less of them. Hence, it enables us to cut expenses considerably", says Erik Swelheim, Managing Director & CFO of KLM.

Growth ambitions

Bram Ledeboer, Investment Manager at Mainport Innovation Fund: "MIF's investment, along with that of our partners KLM, Schiphol Airport, TU Delft and Rabobank, positions Undagrid to achieve their international growth ambitions as the communications solution for airport logistics faster. Not to mention, it helps them break into other markets outside of the aviation industry."


About Undagrid

Undagrid is a technology company that provides a communications network specially targeted towards the fast-growing market of "The Internet of Things", a market that is expected to grow to several tens of billions of devices by the end of this decade and will drastically change the world in which we live.

Undagrid founders include Rolf van de Velde (43), CEO; Christiaan Willemsen (34), CTO; Marcus Breekweg (45), Business Development; and Lennart Schröer (28), Marketing. 

About Mainport Innovation Fund

MIF is the investment fund partnership between the Schiphol Group, KLM Royal Dutch Airline, Delft University of Technology, and Rabobank (www.mainportinnovationfund.nl). The fund invests in promising technology companies with revolutionary innovations in the logistics, transport, and aviation sectors. Undagrid is MIF's 9th investment. NBI Investors, MIF's funds manager, will be launching the "MIF 2" successor fund in the near future.