ThingsLog, the Bulgarian IoT company for consumption monitoring, raised close to €1M in a seed round led by the Sofia-based privately owned investment firm Morningside Hill Capital Management. The round was joined by ReconArt, a US software company that has a big part of its development team located in Bulgaria. The capital raised will be used for further product and technology development, and marketing investments. The IoT startup will also aim to get its hardware certified in foreign markets.
The company provides IoT services for remote consumption monitoring of water, gas, and electricity to help businesses detect leaks and fraud in time. With the mission to improve the relationship between customers and utility companies, ThingsLog aims to become a competitive global supplier of data intelligence solutions in the IoT industry.
“Having bootstrapped our growth, we will use this first investment to increase our marketing presence in new markets, to boost sales, and to add new solutions to our portfolio of services,” Nikolay Milovanov, co-founder and CEO of ThingsLog, shares for The Recursive.
“One of the key elements that made ThingsLog an attractive investment opportunity for Morningside Hill was the composition of the team. The co-founders have extensive experience and are very dedicated to growing their business, while the team as a whole is comprised of people with complementary knowledge and skills. Another aspect that we liked was that their product is very niche and very flexible – they can work with various networks as well as with third-party hardware. Their offering is quite unique for the European Union, they might have few competitors but no one that offers a similar product for lower cost,” Pavel Velkov, Managing Partner at Morningside Hill Capital Management, said for The Recursive.
Solving business resources inefficiencies
ThingsLog develops designs for hardware IoT devices with sensors that log data about the consumption of water, gas, and electricity resources. It also develops a software platform for remote monitoring and issue detection of critical and expensive business resources. ThingsLog serves clients from various industries including utility companies, large manufacturers, hotels and restaurants, public sector companies, property managers and landlords, and telecom operators.
The company operates with a recurring business model and charges clients monthly fees for the use of its software solution, while the hardware they provide free of charge. ThingsLog offers its solutions both directly and through partner networks in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
According to Milovanov, the high electricity and gas bills encourage more and more businesses to search for smart solutions for monitoring and control over the usage and expenses of resources. Moreover, he believes that digitalization and data-focused economies will play a key role in the green energy transition in Europe. In this regard, the platform of ThingsLog could be a vital part of the regional IoT ecosystem which would accelerate the sustainable transition.
“Consumers can’t optimize their consumption of resources if they are not able to measure and monitor it first. Even though all of the policies aimed at promoting efficient use of natural resources are already having a positive impact, the most effective way to deal with the problem is to provide the consumers with the tools that help them understand how to limit the waste of resources,” Milovanov highlights.
The journey of ThingsLog
ThingsLog was founded in 2017 by Nikolay Milovanov, a Ph.D. graduate in Intelligent Frameworks and Networks Transformation, and Vasil Yordanov, a physicist with a background in software and hardware engineering. They were joined by Veselin Bojilov and Martin Kokalov in the very early stages of the development of the startup. The idea for ThingsLog was born amid a national wave of discontent with high energy bills for electricity in January 2017 in Bulgaria.
In less than two months the two Ph.D. co-founders were able to create the first prototype of their hardware device. By April 2017, they were ready with the designs for the software system architecture and the hardware for monitoring gas, water, and electricity.
They validated the product with Sofiyska Voda, which later became one of their first and biggest clients. In 2020 the company signed a deal with the international telecom provider Telenor as part of which the telecom offers ThingLog monitoring solution through their smart monitoring service offering. Since last year, the company has also provided its clients with a mobile app released in six languages – English, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek, German and Spanish.
What comes next for IoT remote resource monitoring
At the moment ThingsLog’s team consists of 20 people and it is expected that after the investment they will hire another 10 people. The funds from the round will be also used for the expansion of the partners’ network of ThingsLog. The company plans to start offering specialized solutions in new markets such as agriculture and monitoring of critical buildings and equipment.