Companies to Watch: LIKK Technologies

Key points

  • LIKK Technologies offers smart water monitoring for multi-unit buildings, both residential and corporate
  • Insurers pay out $18bn each year in water damages, though LIKK estimates that early detection and action could save 93% of this amount
  • Consumers are typically less aware of the benefits of water-monitoring, so the company targets customers like building owners, property managers and insurers
  • LIKK’s h2o water sensors connect to cellular networks, allowing for greater flexibility in deployment and greater network security than with Wi-Fi or other protocols
  • The company also offers analytics dashboards for multiple levels of customer, from building managers to insurers

Introduction

LIKK TECH logo

LIKK Technologies offers a smart water and leak monitoring solution aimed at multi-unit buildings, both residential and corporate. It provides a sensor and dashboard enabling building managers to quickly detect leaks or other plumbing-related events, determine their severity and notify the unit owners. The company was founded in Miami by Nicolas Kritzler and his son Ronald, along with Peter Dejman, Alberto Himmelstern and Ralph L Leung, the combined team bringing experience in rolling out broadband services and partnerships in Latin America to this venture.

LIKK Technologies is taking a measured approach to raising funding, starting with a $500,000 convertible note to fund product development. It is now aiming for a further $1.5mn convertible note to fund operational growth, including expansion into markets beyond Miami. It is already present in the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston, with New York next, and other possible areas of expansion include Latin America and Asia.

Innovation spotlight

LIKK Technologies notes that insurers pay out over $18bn for water-related damages each year, but 93% of that amount could be saved with early detection and action. LIKK’s key value proposition is therefore to detect leaks early, allowing enterprise clients such as property managers and building owners to take action before the leaks cause further damage.

LIKK focuses on multi-unit use cases, in contrast to smart home offerings that are aimed at individual residences. The reason for this multi-unit focus is because water monitoring remains a difficult proposition to sell to individual homeowners, who typically don’t see the need for it if they themselves haven’t experienced significant water damage. Solutions for individual homes remain relatively expensive as well, potentially costing up to around $2,000 for the sensors and for devices to remotely shut off water in case of leaks.

LIKK_underSink
LIKK h2o sensor

LIKK’s customers therefore are building owners, property managers and insurance companies, who are more aware of the costs of water damage, especially as leaks affect units on lower floors. LIKK h2o also presents a clear savings proposition for these clients, as outfitting a full building with water monitoring equipment can cost up to $500,000, whereas LIKK’s solution can be deployed for on average $22 per apartment.

The company deploys a network of water sensors placed in what LIKK defines as high-risk areas, connected via a hub-and-spoke network to central monitoring units via cellular network. It has installed over 21,000 active sensors, monitoring more than 5 million square feet on its platform to protect a total value of $2.3bn. The sensors detect over 145 events on average each month.

The sensor network then allows LIKK to derive actionable insights from the data gathered, creating different dashboards for different customers, ranging from the manager of a single building to a management company that owns multiple buildings, to an insurance company getting notifications if a water event lasts longer than 30 minutes.

In this stage of expansion, the company is focusing on learning how water systems operate in buildings across different geographies, based on different weather patterns and the ages of plumbing systems. Its sensors can be deployed according to the specific needs of a building, while also taking into account the needs of individual units within the building; for instance, the company places sensors in porches and living rooms where there’s a risk of leaks caused by hurricanes. Similarly, it makes a note of units that feature fish tanks, or of spare bathrooms used as storage spaces, to ensure that managers are aware of potential points of water damage. In addition, its focus in 2018 has been more on developing the commercial market, enabling it to form larger strategic partnerships and roll out its solution across a portfolio of buildings over time.

As mentioned above, insurers form a core part of LIKK’s customer base, and the company is exploring pricing models where buildings fitted with its sensors receive a discount from their insurer, effectively making the sensor system pay for itself. LIKK is targeting such partnerships as a way to expand into new areas, including outside the US. It has already signed a deal with a global insurer, and is targeting further partnerships.

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