Irish IoT start-up Journey Protector wins €25,000 for expansion

7 Sep 2021

CEO Anne Lawlor. Image: Journey Protector

The company has received a €25,000 prize from Typetec and Microsoft, and now plans to open new offices in three countries.

Irish cargo-monitoring start-up Journey Protector has received a €25,000 prize from Typetec’s start-up competition, run with Microsoft.

The Dublin-based company also announced that it will be launching its first product in October, and plans to open offices in the UK, Germany and US over the next three years.

Journey Protector, which was featured as Start-up of the Week on last year, builds internet of things (IoT) devices that monitor freight shipments for theft or the presence of unauthorised persons.

The company says that its system removes the ability of drivers to “collude in people trafficking or cargo theft” and provides “protection for stowaways from injury or death”.

It uses blockchain, machine learning and Microsoft Azure to power its suite of sensors, and is collaborating with Arrow Electronics in the development of its IoT devices.

“The need to tackle human trafficking, driver safety and cargo theft was the driving force behind the formation of Journey Protector,” said CEO Anne Lawlor. “We were shocked to discover that the UK and Ireland lose €2.5m per day due to issues caused by the migrant crisis.”

She also noted that €60bn is lost to cargo theft worldwide annually.

One of the key elements of Journey Protector’s technology is to notify a designated responder in the client company upon detecting the presence of unauthorised access to loads in cargo vehicles, who then passes the information on to law enforcement.

“We want a world where vulnerable people are no longer trafficked by use of haulage, and cargo theft is no longer able to harm drivers and companies,” Lawlor said.

“Being part of the Microsoft for Start-Ups programme has given us the opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with organisations such as Arrow Electronics. We are delighted to now add Typetec to the list of associates offering us invaluable support and mentoring.”

Ken Tormey, chief revenue officer of Typetec, added: “We are delighted to award Journey Protector with the €25,000 start-up fund in collaboration with Microsoft. We had a rigorous selection process and Journey Protector faced stiff competition.

“Through the course of their presentation and pitch, we realised how important their solution is for the transport industry and the impact it could have on cross-border security.”

This week, another Irish company producing IoT devices for freight management announced a partnership with Vodafone.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin