Melbourne company Freestyle Technology has revealed it has signed a $5.8 million contract to roll out an Internet of Things (IoT) water management solution for a South Korean county.
The end-to-end system of smart water meters, communications equipment and cloud-based software will be deployed to 24,000 residences in a five-year deal with the municipality of Gochang in the southwest of Korea.
The company labelled the deal as its “first significant success” in water management and stated that it beat several Korean suppliers over a grueling two-year selection process.
“It is a major achievement for an early stage Australian technology company to be punching well above its weight in highly advanced and competitive markets,” said Freestyle chief executive Mohan Jesudason.
South Korea has legitimate claims to be the most internet-connected society in the world, with high mobile and broadband penetration as well as consistently leading the global speed rankings for broadband. But even in such a technologically advanced country, the Freestyle water management platform will be the “first full-scale deployment” of its kind.
The system in Gochang will detect any water leaks among the 24,000 premises and automatically work out the best course of action after taking into account the environment and the temperature around the fault.
“Customer service transforms to customer care where, for example, an alert is raised at the municipality if water consumption stops for the elderly living alone. The municipality responds with a customer visit,” stated the company.
Freestyle, which has a branch in South Korea, also has three IoT water management trials running with other councils in the country.
The startup also develops connected tech solutions for electricity and waste management services, and said that it has “near-term” prospects in those industries in Australia, Japan and Thailand. Jesudason last year reportedly claimed the company would bring in $250 to $350 million in export income back into Australia by 2018.
The Mount Waverley-headquartered tech firm started in 2006 and has specialised in building “open” machine-to-machine IoT platforms that are agnostic of communications protocols. The company had planned for an IPO last year, which did not end up getting off the ground.