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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

UNK brings IoT assembly lines to Colombia with US$500K investment

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Pharmaceuticals and food companies invest billions into R&D for new products. So it must be a real kicker when the goods they’ve strived to create are lost to something as trivial as poor temperature conditions.

Chilean IoT startup UNK is well-aware of this problem and has built sensor systems to help products keep their cool. The company is already operating with businesses like convenience store Oxxo in Mexico as well as McDonald’s in Peru. 

Though UNK also has its eyes set on Colombia for 2021, for which it’s closing in on an investment round.

Startup UNK says “chill, I got you”

In a tech-free world, production plants have designated personnel to monitor temperature levels on a routine basis. But human oversight can translate into losses in products that never make it out of the factory.

And even when staff obey quality controls to a tee, random mishaps can still take place.

To face these challenges, Chilean UNK built an IoT system and SaaS platform that automatically registers temperatures and humidity levels within supply chains.

If something goes amiss, it notifies the responsible party via SMS and email. Should that person fail to respond to the incident within 30 minutes, the platform will advise the next stakeholder in line.

Besides its IoT and SaaS combo, it also developed an algorithm that helps its customers anticipate disruptions and generate reports.

The startup wants to launch into Colombia next year. To that end it’s talking to investors and is close to raising US$500,000 according to El Diario Financiero.

Cool tech, bro

IoT and temperature-control technology are taking front and center thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Pharmaceuticals, medical supply manufacturers, and logistics companies alike are worrying over how the hell they’re gonna effectively distribute the coronavirus vaccine while reassuring that the heat doesn’t ruin it.

Meanwhile, e-commerce is also bringing forth its own set of challenges in cool chain tech. As more users buy online, businesses are forced to handle larger volumes of temperature-sensitive goods like fruits, as well as chilled or frozen food.

Despite these circumstances, I’d say it’s still gonna be a while before the use of cool chain technology becomes widespread among small-sized logistics companies or manufacturers. Mainly because they’re more tech averse and also more reluctant to spend limited resources for these types of solutions.

Larger logistics businesses and manufacturers on the other hand will lead the charge. This will only widen the gap in the quality service they offer, thus snatching up more customers from smaller companies.

Perhaps when the smaller guys start feeling the heat, will they turn to tech to stay cool among clients.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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