If there's something we've gotten used to in the past year, it's been the ability to track essentially any products or belongings we want (this summer, with the craziness of airports, it happens to be our suitcases). We can easily do this with AirTags or any other device tracker. But what happens when there are no iPhones around? Companies still need to track their shipping containers. An Israeli startup has the solution.

A few AA batteries to track your shipping container

The Israeli startup Hoopo has developed a sensor that allows logistics companies to track their fleets, especially when dealing with less sophisticated elements such as shipping containers and carts. The Hoopo sensor runs on low energy, so it can last for years on just 4-6 AA batteries.

Within Hoopo's sensor, several low-energy communication technologies are integrated, such as LoRa, LTE-M and BLE, and it also uses several different location technologies such as LP-GPS, WiFi, Cell-ID, BLE and LoRa. With the help of a positioning engine developed by the company, the sensors go through an optimization process that allows them to use and choose the types of technologies suitable for various situations.

"The result is that the sensors and the system make sure that the location of the property is always reliable, but it is a technology that consumes as little electric current as possible, thus extending the product's battery life," says Ittay Hayut, CEO and one of the founders of Hoopo, in a conversation with Geektime. He went on to say that the sensors also monitor and report movement, temperature, and whether the asset is loaded (in a container/equipment) or not.

According to him, the company's product is designed, among other things, to meet the needs of optimizing supply chains and providing full visibility to fleets of trailers, carts, dry containers, and a host of other assets, to prevent bottlenecks and shorten shipping circuits. "The challenge in tracking tens and hundreds of thousands of assets is that most of the solutions today are too expensive (in terms of battery consumption and price), or work for very short periods of time. For example, AirTags cannot report a location in areas where there are no people with an iPhone within twenty meters. In addition, several assets are required to be monitored both outside and inside buildings.”

Alongside its location technology, Hoopo provides customers with a system that allows them to determine different ‘rules’ for the behaviour of their assets so it can generate immediate alerts, and operational and business insights if need be. Hayut says that the product they have developed is plug-and-play, so it can be activated and installed in less than five minutes, and it will be able to make any non-motorized asset part of a “smart” fleet.

Received a check from the Israeli shipping giant

The Israeli startup was established in 2016 and employs about 15 people. It also recently completed a Series A fundraising round of $10 million. The round was led by the Israeli shipping giant ZIM and venture capital fund theDock, alongside other investors from previous rounds like TAU Ventures, Hico Capital and more.