Tech start-up scores multimillion-rand funding from E Squared

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Ajay Lalu, co-founder and director for CIRT.
Ajay Lalu, co-founder and director for CIRT.

Burgeoning tech start-up Consumption Information Real Time (CIRT) has sealed its first seed funding agreement with impact investor E Squared. The funds will be used to scale up operations.

The multimillion-rand funding is part of E Squared’s COVID-19 Innovation and Response Fund, meant for businesses focused on prevention, detection, care and support, to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in SA.

E Squared, which seeks sustainable economic returns and aims to help scale high-impact organisations, launched the COVID-19 Innovation and Response Fund last year.

It has not disclosed the exact amount to be invested in CIRT, on confidentiality grounds.

CIRT, a 100% black-owned Internet of things (IOT) data insights solutions provider, has, in recent months, launched IOT solutions such as Q-Hop, Fridgeloc Solution, Vaccloc and Temploc Cold Supply Chain Monitor Solution, which have all garnered international recognition.

Vaccloc monitors the cold supply chain for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Cold supply chain monitoring is a significant issue, especially in developing countries in Africa and South America, due to the distances vaccine vials need to travel to get to patients.

“We are proud to be supporting local innovation and easing the impact of COVID-19 not only in South Africa, but through our investment in CIRT, we see opportunities to support Africa and the world. The CIRT team has proven with limited resources and bootstrapping what they are capable of achieving. We found their solutions innovative, cutting-edge and world-class,” says Llewellyn Fredericks, investment principal at E Squared.

This is the second seal of approval for the start-up’s IOT solutions in recent months.

In January, CIRT teamed up with Microsoft to drive these IOT solutions and help accelerate global digital transformation.

With the deal, CIRT will integrate its solutions, such as Q-Hop, Fridgeloc Solution, Vaccloc and Temploc Cold Supply Chain Monitor Solution, with Azure IOT Central and Microsoft Power BI services.

All CIRT solutions will eventually be on-boarded to Azure Marketplace.

The tech start-up is also providing an IOT system to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s local subsidiary SAB, to capture data about locations and the temperatures of beer refrigerators across the country.

CIRT’s Fridgeloc Connected Cooler solution is being used to monitor over 100 000 refrigerators at bars, taverns and restaurants in SA.

Commenting on the E Squared funding agreement, Ajay Lalu, co-founder and director of CIRT, says: “We are elated to have successfully concluded our first round of funding with E Squared.

“The capital from E Squared will allow us to continue to innovate, and with the support of Microsoft, we can now expand globally. We can also continue to innovate using the latest artificial intelligence tools and prove that South African black-owned companies can lead the fourth industrial revolution.”

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