Unlocking Value

Spintly is using AI and IoT to help improve workplace efficiency and build a contactless future. With a recent pre-series-A round funding of $2.5 million; and top-notch customers in their bag, the startup is on its way to achieve new heights in the space

Internet of Things (IoT) in India is still getting adopted at a good rate at around 35% increase per year. There was about $5 billion invested in the IoT space in 2019, the IoT market is expected to be a $650 billion market by 2026. With covid-19, IoT, along with cloud technology, is enabling interesting use cases to serve the post-covid world.
Many enterprises have moved their systems like HRMS, ERP etc. to cloud-based platforms. There is a wave of other cloud platforms coming in where all traditional systems like access control, video surveillance etc. are also moving to the cloud in the coming years.
With a similar vision, Goa-based Spintly has been rigorously working towards providing businesses access to touchless and contactless technologies, enabling the organisations to excel in the post-covid world. The future of door access is keyless and Spintly has developed technology that enables this future.
Founded in 2018, Spintly is the world’s first truly wireless mesh powered smart access control platform. The startup focuses on providing hassle-free, touch-less, mobile-based access control and attendance management solutions for enterprise, co-working spaces and residential applications. These systems allow users to gain access to doors, gates, locks elevators, and all types of access barriers through a simple smartphone app or even the smartwatch.
Spintly was founded by Rohin Parkar and Malcolm Dsouza – friends and engineers with nearly two decades of experience in wireless and IoT technologies. Rohin started his career as a scientist working at Bhabha Atomic Research Center in 2002. In 2005, he moved to the USA and worked there for tech giants like Motorola, Nokia and Broadcom. He was involved in developing key wireless technologies ranging from 2G to 5G and also worked on Wi-Fi and IoT technologies. Rohin returned to India in 2017 after spending 12 years in the USA with a goal of building a technology focused product company in India.
Malcolm started his career in 2002 with Tata infotech in Goa as a hardware engineer and then moved to US in 2004 to work on projects with Motorola. Malcolm worked on various aspects of wireless products and developed key expertise in firmware development and software defined radio technology. Towards 2015-2016 Malcolm was part of the advanced technology group at Nokia where he worked on latest technologies like 5G, NB-IoT and CAT-M.
Rohin and Malcolm are strongly supported by their better halves, Vaibhavi Parkar and Joann Fernandes who also handle important functions in the company. It is a classic story of committing oneself fully to a cause and working as a team to achieve a common dream.
Rohin and Malcolm have built Spintly ground up as a fully vertically integrated company which develops both hardware and software. They hired fresh talent from engineering colleges in Goa and trained them to be able to develop innovative IoT products.

Think Access Control

L to R: Malcolm DSouza, Joann Fernandes, Vaibhavi and Rohin Parkar

Spintly identified a key gap in global access control market. The duo explains “We looked at the access control systems in offices and found that it involved a lot of wiring. Wires would get eaten up by mice, and sometimes access cards would be lost. Customers found mobile-based access to be much more convenient, and we thought we could bring about that shift in the industry.”
The startup was incubated at Ignite-EDC Innovation Hub, CIBA and FiiRE. It also received a seed grant of $13,100 from the government, and launched operations in August 2018. “Goa has a good startup policy, which gives financial incentives to companies like ours. The ecosystem is still new, but it is growing,” the co-founders share.
The IoT enabled Spintly Access control platform can cater to residential and commercial establishments (hotels, enterprises, tech parks, coworking spaces, co-living societies, hospitals, malls, colleges, and universities). This platform facilitates indoor and outdoor management of access points like doors, gates, boardrooms, hotel rooms, office spaces, parking lots, or any area that requires a touch-based biometric log-in. With Spintly, the check-in and check-out process are entirely contactless. All the data collected by its hardware devices installed at access points is stored in the cloud. It can be accessed by enterprise customers through a real-time analytics dashboard and reports.
The co-founders go on to elaborate, “IoT devices collect a lot of events and data points, and identify patterns that can help facility managers. We use Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based models to provide insights into occupancy and space utilisation. On top of the access control system, we have built a SaaS-based analytics platform for attendance and facility management. So, enterprises can keep a track of employee movement, hotels can check room occupancy rates, etc.”

Spintly’s Flagship Products

The Spintly team is largely comprised of tech graduates from Goa and works from their offices at Fatorda, Margao

SMACC UNO (Smart Access UNO) is one of the flagship products which get installed on each of the doors which require access control. The readers can communicate with each other over a wireless mesh network powered by Bluetooth Mesh. Users are granted access to the doors bypassing a digital key from the cloud to their smartphones. Also, users can unlock doors with their smartphones and the access logs, and history is captured in real-time.
The duo shares how this product is different from other products in the market, “We have created the world’s first BLE-mesh enabled access control platform which not only allows users to unlock doors with their smartphone but also eliminates the wired infrastructure needed for access control deployments. And that is what sets us apart from the rest of the competitors.”
According to Rohin, Spintly uses IoT as the primary enabler for the access control platform. The company uses the Bluetooth signal from the readers to form an IoT mesh network of devices to send data to the cloud. The key part of the network is the Spintly Mesh gateway. This gateway connects to the IoT Network of readers on one side and connects to the cloud on the other side.
The gateway communicates with the Spintly IoT cloud engine, which is built on AWS (Amazon Web Services). The company also uses advanced machine learning techniques to analyse occupancy patterns and provide useful insight to the customers to help them improve workforce and workplace efficiency.
Spintly has developed custom hardware which makes the BLE-mesh network robust and allows the system to work through walls and across floors. Firmware is the piece of code which resides in the hardware and is the brains of the hardware. A Bluetooth Mesh firmware has also been developed, which allows seamless communication between various nodes.
The gateway is built on a Linux platform, and it uses Bluetooth Low energy to communicate with all the devices and uses Wi-Fi or LAN to communicate with the cloud. It uses MQTT and HTTPS protocol to communicate with the cloud. Also, the cloud platform consists of the IoT engine built on the AWS platform and the API interface, which allows the exchange of data with other applications.
Speaking on the uniqueness of their product and the competition in India and the global markets, the duo says, “Unlike other competitors, we are not using Weigand or OSDP protocol in our access control system which is entirely dependent on using wired infrastructure. At Spintly, we have created the world’s first BLE-mesh enabled Access Control Platform which sets us apart from the rest of our competitors. We see a healthy competition In India as well as the global market for our products and solution as the world is preparing to go contactless to create a safe and healthy environment.”

Conquering Challenges
Elaborating on the challenges in the market at this point of time the duo maintains that no business can grow without facing challenges. “At present, we see there is a huge demand for our products/solutions, as every customer wants to deploy contactless access control solutions at their premises to create safe and healthy work environment. One of the that challenges we are facing is being able to scale up our production amidst supply chain issues in order to cater to customer demands.”
As a startup Spintly had its fair share of challenges. “One of the major challenges we faced was recently when covid-19 struck India and our business got adversely affected. It seemed like we had hit a wall. We gradually were able to change our messaging to a contact-less system and were able to attract customer attention. But for 4-5 months going without revenues was really a difficult phase in the business. Every start-up faces these challenges of having a good cash flow so it can stay afloat towards becoming profitable. Another challenge that we face is the lack of a manufacturing ecosystem in the country due to prolonged dependency on China. So we are building that infrastructure and capability ground-up to enable us to deliver our products in the future.”

All About Teamwork
The company had primarily hired engineers straight out of college and developed their talent over the last 2-3 years. “We had to do this as the kind of skills that we needed were completely missing in India. That still remains our primary mode of hiring. We do see a shortage of experienced talent in the software development space in Goa which we need to scale up our software platform and are looking for experienced talent to join us in other parts of the country, especially in Bangalore. But when it comes to hiring other than primary technical skills, we look for attitude and the hunger to learn.”
Further, the duo speaks highly of their team at Spintly. “At Spintly, we have an amazing team of more than 80 employees. Our entire team is passionate about learning new skills and building a product that helps improve human efficiency. Our products have been developed by a team of integrative thinkers led by visionary leaders. We firmly believe that quality and innovation does not have to come at a high cost. With this principle, Spintly aims to develop high quality, innovative and cost effective products and solutions. Our employees are inspired by the technologies they get to learn each passing day, the unbiased work culture, friendly management and much more.”

Operational Growth and Pandemic Impact
Covid-19 has had a telling impact across industries and the global economy. In Spintly’s case, the pandemic has served as a boon. Right after the pandemic hit, touch-based devices and biometric systems were not preferred, and the demand for contactless devices has hit the roof. Spintly saw a ‘10-fold’ increase in its deal sizes. Now using advanced digital methods for access control is becoming more of a norm and the demand continues to grow.
The duo reveals, “Big tech parks, major hospitality players, and manufacturing companies were interested in our solutions. Tech parks have multiple entry points, and the owners wanted to keep a track of the movement for hygiene purposes. They also enabled contact tracing features, which could chronologically track the movement within an area.” Hospitals and hotels were other big opportunities. We have been approached to build a contactless elevator solution. So, you don’t have to press buttons, and can control the elevator through a mobile app.”
Spintly has one lakh users on its smart access platform, which has connected over 2500 doors to the cloud and performs more than two million doors unlocks every month. It services enterprise clients like Godrej, Smartworks, Procter & Gamble, Manipal Hospitals, and other major companies.
The duo says, “Before the lockdown, we had companies with 500 employees coming to us. Now, each tech park that has approached has about 5,000 to 10,000 people. We are targeting 1million users by the end of 2023.”
The startup charges clients on a SaaS-based model for the analytics platform; it also earns from sales of its hardware device. Spintly has sold thousands of devices so far and the sales is growing rapidly.

Awards & Accolades
In February of 2022, Spintly won the Thread Group Innovation Enabler Award. Launched in 2015, the Thread Innovation Enabler Award recognizes early-stage companies from around the world, for their innovative approach to solving IoT challenges using the Thread protocol.
The award supports the creative possibilities that smaller companies can bring to the IoT ecosystem by giving them access to the resources and network within the Thread Group.
Thread is a low-power wireless mesh networking protocol built on open and proven standards aimed at simplifying and standardising IoT solutions. The Thread Group board is represented by member from companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and others – who were involved in the selection process of this award.
Speaking on receiving the award, the duo shares, “We were super excited to receive this award, as Thread technology aligns tightly with our product and market vision for an end-to-end, secure, IP-based approach for access control. This award paves the path to certification for our products’ compliance and inter-operability with the Thread protocol, which will expand Spintly’s sales pipeline. Simultaneously, we are actively collaborating within the Thread Group to develop the standard for access control.”
In 2021, Spintly also won the HDFC Bank presents Business Goa Awards 2021 as ‘StartUp of the Year’.
In April 2021, Spintly raised $650,000 in a seed round round led by Riso capital from Silicon Valley, SucSeed Indovation fund and participated by Goa-based venture accelerator Saltwater Venture Sparks, and early-stage angel investors in the US. It had earlier raised $100,000 from US-based angels.
Recently, Spintly raised $2.5 million in a pre-series-A round of funding. Those participating in this round include LetsVenture, AccelNet, SucSEED Indovation Fund, Riso Capital, Defang Technology, 91 Ventures, Kyto Technology and Life, and a few other notable angel investors and business groups.
The funds would be utilised to scale up R&D, and accelerate customer acquisition, expansion, sales, and marketing. “We have seen a rise in demand for our products and are in the process of ramping up our production. The funds raised will also help us accelerate the product development process to meet the increased demand,” the co-founders said.

Growth Plans
Spintly is chasing global scale growth. It wants to become one of the leading players in the access control market projected to reach $85B billion by 2024. “We want to redefine this market by creating a new market category, that is our vision,” says Rohin and Malcolm.
Spintly recently expanded its team in the US by hiring John Czarnik and Daniel Thomas in Silicon Valley as part of its business development and sales team. Spintly plans to expand into new market segments like education, residential, data centers, enterprise, and government. Spintly is addressing an $80.62 billion smart buildings market which is expected to be a $328.62 billion market by 2029.
ISC News estimates the access control market is approximately $70 billion globally evolving from wired on-premise applications to wireless cloud solutions. Capitalizing on this trend, Spintly is transforming the security industry with its fully wireless, cloud-based access management system that removes the complexity of deploying the typical hard-line access control solution. Operators of co-working spaces, corporate offices, and other commercial properties can improve their customer’s experience without the cost of expensive controllers, wiring, and cabling.
“The future roadmap looks clear and luminous for us since it focuses on simplifying and bringing a great level of convenience to users. Currently, we have a presence in three countries – India, UAE and the USA.
In India, our focus has been on the south and north Indian market, and we are looking to expand our operation throughout the Indian market. Similarly, for the US market, we have started serving in the North American market and looking to capture the entire US market in the next five years. Also, we have been seeing some positive responses coming for the Middle East countries,” said the duo on a concluding note.
Looking at its trajectory, customer acquisition and growth plans, Spintly looks all set on unlocking its value and potential

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