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PropTech Venture METR Advances Submetering with IoT Gateways

Posted by Elisheva Marcus on March 2018

METR Reaches Milestone By Building and Delivering PropTech Solution, M-Gate

METR, is a force to contend with. Founded in November 2016, METR has now successfully completed development of their first product, an IoT Gateway called M-Gate. M-Gates allow for the remote read-out of heating and water consumption. Their M-Gate has three unique advantages: greater functionality, higher security, and better price point.

They’ve just built in-house and delivered their first batch of gateways which are currently being installed by their first customer, degewo, Berlin’s second largest housing company.

How they achieved this milestone deserves a deeper dive: What real-world problems are they solving? What kind of collaboration fuels this innovation? Basically, who is behind METR? 

METR team after delivering their primary proptech solution

 

What PropTech issue is at hand? Secured Submetering.

If you live in Germany, you are familiar with those little slips of paper on your apartment complex door warning you that the utility guy is coming to check the meter on your radiator. You start mentally calculating how you can be there to intercept him during the stated range of hours, while juggling the rest of your life. Meanwhile landlords grapple with how to fairly charge tenants for utility usage as well as optimize their measurement tools, anticipate issues, and minimize intrusion into the units.

As METR’s CEO Dr. Franka Birke (pictured below) says, “While the tenants themselves have been living digitally for a long time, digitalisation has not yet arrived in the housing industry.”

CEO of proptech venture, METR

Meet METR’s problem-solving approach: METR is modernizing a system that benefits both landlords and tenants. They developed a product and accompanying software, and they see the whole picture – focusing not only on a modern and secure technology, but also on service and support. They see these gateways from both sides: utility provider and consumer. Their goal with the M-Gate is to make life easier for the person responsible for dealing with the Gateways, as well as improve the tenant experience, reduce wallet-impact, and provide data security.

So how does it work? The M-Gate not only enables read-out of data to be sent to dashboard for better analysis, the associated software app offers the possibility of remote monitoring of the devices. It means less visits to contend with on the consumer side, and more secured data and appropriate fees on the landlord/utilities side.

Franka displaying the M-Gate proptech solution

 

Who makes this collaborative innovation possible? Say hello to the METR Team.

METR is the PropTech venture from Next Big Thing AG, a key company builder in Europe, who focuses strictly on IoT and blockchain. NBT is a unique blend: operational VC, venture incubator, and accelerator with expertise in business, IoT and blockchain technology. NBT’s founders, along with CTO Jasmin Skenderi and CFO Martin Buhl, provide mentorship and guidance, while ventures gain access to NBT’s vast ecosystem connections as the de Hub for IoT.

What’s unique about METR?

Female Leadership

With International Women’s Day 2018 this month, it’s worth highlighting that significant roles at METR are held by women. Dr. Franka Birke is CEO and co-Founder. Maite Hernandez Zubeldia is CPO and co-Founder. Combined, they are a powerhouse of determination and strategy.

Franka and Maite crossed paths at the Center for Entrepreneurship, a tech-incubator of Technische Universität of Berlin, though they were already well-acquainted personally. Franka worked there as director and Maite was on her team. Prior to that role, Franka was Entrepreneurship Lead of the Climate-KIC Germany, an accelerator for CleanTech startups in Europe. As CEO and co-Founder of METR, Franka leads the team in terms of vision, guidance, and establishing business connections.

Maite moved from Havana, Cuba to Berlin for an international exchange year as part of her German Studies, launching a new career path. With deep curiosity about how economies work, she went on to study Economics in Berlin, and then became a consultant for social startups. She worked for over three years at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, getting involved in a pilot project for the internationalization of EXIST, which brought promising Israeli tech-startups to Berlin to benefit from one year in the program. She studied design thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute. Through these diverse experiences, Maite gleaned on-the-job skills that no single program could provide. It fostered in her the empathy needed to create a good connection between the customer world and the development team, which she now guides at METR. Maite balances technical ideas with what the customer wants and needs, defining requirements and features.

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Rightly trusting they could collaborate well, the two women started collaborating at METR at NBT in early 2017. They have since been working in collective effort with their engineering team who handles hardware, firmware, and software. They are supported by Erna-Maria Trixl, a former board member of Stadtwerke München. She brings extensive experience in P&L responsibility in the energy and telecom sector and now acts as advisor to METR.

NBT/METR Technical Competency in IoT

Hardware Engineer, David Riding, works closely with Embedded System Engineer, Aravinth Panchadcharam, as evidenced by their recent visit to Embedded World 2018. There, they shared the M-Gate with interested suppliers and distributors. Together with the back-end and front-end developers, Martin Klauk and Parag Majumdar, the engineering team has been putting in long hours to build everything needed to achieve this milestone. We’re excited to see the results of METR’s first delivery! Stay tuned for more.

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NBT blends venture development with IoT technical know-how. We not only co-conceive of solutions for real-world problems, we incubate and accelerate ventures. If you want to build the next big thing in IoT or blockchain technology take a look at the services we offer to our entrepreneurs.

 

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