Tag Archives: indoor

Toronto Jibestream Mapping Your Indoor Spaces

Jibestream is the provider of an indoor mapping and location platform that is transforming the way people engage with indoor spaces. We help enterprise organizations develop IoT-driven, indoor maps that can power a wide range of use cases from indoor navigation to asset tracking, spatial business intelligence and beyond.

With a portfolio of high-profile venues deployed globally, including the Pentagon, World Trade Center, Mall of the Emirates, various Department of Defense hospitals and hundreds of other buildings in both the private and public sector, Jibestream is the go-to leader in the indoor mapping space.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

The company was co-founded by a business entrepreneur and a web developer. Today the company is run by co-founder Chris Wiegand. About 35% of Jibestream staff are on the engineering team with expertise in Java, JS, SQL, Node.js, Python, LISP, Objective-C, and C.

Chris’ ‘lightbulb’ moment came during his employment with a print shop that was in the process of transitioning from traditional lithographic to digital web press.

During that transition, and well before marketing personalization started to gain traction, Chris was exposed to a range of one-to-one marketing tech that enabled direct mail personalization. These experiences led to a moment of serendipity and a hunch about where the market was moving. He ended up being spot on with that hunch, launching and establishing the Jibestream brand well in advance of today’s behemoths like Google, Apple and HERE who are only now starting to deploy their own solutions.

Jibestreams’ first concepts of indoor maps were centered around the mall wayfinding kiosk. They leveraged facial recognition to allow us to instantly know the age and gender of the kiosk user so that a relevant advertisement could be displayed. The concept had some obvious flaws but the idea of using real-time variables to deliver the most relevant message to the user is still a core concept that is contextualized across Jibestreams’ range of use cases.

How are you being financed?

Jibestream is a private company backed by venture capital. In total, Jibestream has raised $2.5 Million in outside capital. $2M from Whitecastle Investments and $500k from the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. Otherwise, Jibestream is largely funded by cash flow generated through customer revenue.

What do you think will be/is a big obstacle to overcome?

The opportunity and challenge of working in a highly fragmented market that is in high growth lays in identifying the appropriate target buyers, which vary vertical to vertical. Unlike traditional SaaS vendors, we are working with enterprises who are trend-setters in digital transformation. Recent research by Gartner as well as MaM have identified tremendous growth in the market over the next 5 years (predicted at 42% CAGR) but that growth is just starting to take off and so our biggest challenge will be in remaining at the forefront of that adoption.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Jibestream is self-aware and recognizes, nurtures, and promotes the people involved in making our platform a premiere product. Our team is a resourceful group of passionate people that believe together, we can achieve great things. The solutions we create and the work we do is something we are all excited to be a part of. Finding amazing people is one of the hardest parts of building a successful company which is why we take our culture and people seriously (and why we couldn’t help but give them a shout-out in this response)!

In addition to all of the traditional recruitment approaches, we are actively engaged in peer community groups (like Peerscale). We’ve also founded a program called women.js, a special interest group with the mission to increase the presence of women within their organizations and to inspire gender equality in tech. We hope to be able to cultivate relationships with talent through programs like this and other developer community engagement initiatives.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our competitors change based on the vertical market. At times it can be point solutions that solve a specific need and other times it is something more comparable, such as a platform. Usually the intended use case easily differentiates which vendor is best for a particular customer.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

By continuing a repeatable scalable model of identifying use cases where our technology is a must have, not just a nice to have. We believe that the market is headed to this realization on its own and we are focused on demonstrating the capabilities so that decision-makers who are embarking in digital transformation initiatives can look to Jibestreams’ industry leadership for guidance throughout the process. The primary markets which we are focused on are healthcare, retail, transportation, hospitality and tourism, industry 4.0 and commercial buildings.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The biggest lesson we’ve learned is likely the value and impact that peer groups can have on a growing business. The ability to network with other founders and startups, learn from their mistakes and get input on our own strategy and execution was instrumental in our early success. Following this, would be the role that diversity plays not just on culture but in performance and growth. This is much more difficult to get right later on and in retrospect it would be at the top of our priority list in developing our brand, culture and product.

Last, but not least, have a listen to 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO, by Jibestream CEO Chris Wiegand

Toronto startup InnerSpace delivers GPS for the indoors

InnerSpace has created the first scalable technology that delivers “GPS for the indoors.” The company’s technology instantly delivers 3D maps, positioning data, and the critical insights needed to maximize every square foot. The networked sensors and wayfinding technology digitize physical spaces to deliver never-before-seen experiences for commercial real estate, retail, healthcare, and warehousing industries.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
InnerSpace was founded by James Wu, Jason Gamblen, and Matt MacGillivray who worked together at eReading giant Kobo and played instrumental role in the company’s $315-million sale to Rakuten. Together, the team has been a part of 5 successful start-ups and now bring their product, UX, design, dev and digital expertise to solve a problem that represents a $250-billion opportunity.

How are you being financed?
The company has been bootstrapped for the last two years with the support of family friends. Now, we are closing in on our Seed Round which will help us produce the InnerSpace sensors and increase our customer pipeline. We recently announced an investment from venture fund 500 Startups and joining their accelerator which has helped us to catapult our sales.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Delivering indoor maps and positioning is a massive problem, but with massive market potential. There are hundreds of companies trying to deliver indoor experiences – like wayfinding apps in shopping malls, or equipment tracking in warehouses – but all of them struggle to get the mapping data they need to deliver great/cost-effective/timely experiences for their customers.

Our biggest opportunity and challenge will be to serve both the companies who want to deploy InnerSpace internally as well as the emerging tech companies who are developing apps based on the data. We are taking a huge bite out of this problem, and are ready to meet the challenge – scaling effectively will be where we’re focused for the next phase of our growth.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Toronto has always had access to great talent – especially with such strong ties to the Waterloo community. A few years ago, we were losing a lot of this talent to the Valley, but now we’re seeing the reverse – talent is staying here and US developers are seeking out Toronto start-ups. We have an excellent roster of VCs, founders, and incubators here to support the community and foster the development of talent here.

Who is your biggest competition?
We believe our biggest competitors are going to become our best partners. These are the companies that are creating maps by hand, who are taking months to create maps and insights, and whose data is out of date if any changes are made to the physical space. Typically, these companies really want to deliver cool apps and digital experiences, but they can’t scale because of the manual approach to creating maps. That’s where we come in – we help them scale. We let them focus on what they really want to be doing. We help them grow their business quickly. This is the true potential of InnerSpace.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
InnerSpace is a location-as-a-service platform, which means customers subscribe to our platform for pennies on the square foot. When you consider that our technology can help companies discover new revenue streams, save operational costs, and increase sales, our business model makes it easy to understand the ROI. We will serve commercial real estate, retail, healthcare, and warehousing. As an exaple, one of our big box retail clients plans to increase sales by $2-million per store simply by helping customers find items on their shopping lists. Our fee will be approximately $10,000/store (just 0.5%!) and there are more than 400 stores in North America.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
The most transformative realization so far is that we didn’t just want to create a better technology for the industry. Plenty of technologies have been created in the past – but customers found them difficult to use, they took too long to implement, they didn’t scale. Simply, customers found them cumbersome.

While we are incredibly proud of our technology, it is our approach to solving our customers’ problems that is where the true value of InnerSpace lies. Our customers want an instant, turn-key solution that solves the hard technical problems of mapping and location. They need a clear path to create new revenue streams and the data to better their business today. We view each customer interaction a success when they stop thinking about the techology and start envisioning how our platform solves their business problems.