2020 has been quite a year, has it not? It has been a year with its share of challenges. As a company, I’m proud to say that we rode to meet those challenges, and the spectacular wins you will read about below are proof of that. Our adaptability and progress during such a difficult time give me great hope for the future. Bring on 2021.
A new normal for work life at SensorUp
We were fortunate that it was a seamless transition from pre-COVID work life since we were already remote-work ready as a company. As a cloud software company we have access to everything we need for our jobs in the cloud so everyone just took their laptops home and we were up and running. With multiple offices and customers all over North America we were already using Zoom on a daily basis so remote at home turned out to be quite similar to how we already collaborated.
Every company has a different culture, so what will work for them to stay connected during pandemic life is going to vary. For us, we had regular optional weekly Zoom lunches where we would take a very organic approach to discussions. We also had fun with changing up our Zoom backgrounds for our internal meetings, and I enjoyed seeing everyone flex their creativity.
We also have a slack channel dedicated to random water cooler talk for whenever anyone wants a break and has a fun topic they want to throw out there. We may be working remotely, but our company culture continues to thrive.
COVID times made it more challenging to stay connected with customers, but otherwise, our day-to-day work life remained the same. Like most businesses, we’ll be celebrating the holiday staff party over Zoom with everyone doing a remote toast from their respective homes.
Big milestones in 2020 for SensorUp
Though it was a challenging year, we did see some key milestones this year that I’m happy to share.
June 2020 – SensorUp Founder & CTO Dr. Steve Liang announced as Rogers IoT Research Chair
July 2020 – SensorUp secured $6M in Series A Funding
We were fundraising in the middle of a pandemic with investors and customers in oil and gas who were seeing historic low commodity prices.. To say it was challenging would be an understatement. It’s a huge testament to our technology, our team, and our business strategy that we were able to successfully complete a Series A financing in that environment. We are fortunate to have the vision and support of our investment partners at Vanedge Capital, Evok Innovations, Export Development Canada and InterGen. It was a very collaborative process the whole way through.
September 2020 – Winner of the Energy Tech Venture Forum’s 10 Most Promising Companies
At the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship’s 18th annual Energy and Clean Tech Venture Forum, energy startups pitched virtually for venture capitalists and 1,000+ attendees. SensorUp was selected as one of the 10 most-promising energy tech companies by the Rice Alliance.
December 2020 – International Methane Data Sharing Standard with the Open Geospatial Consortium. Watch this on-demand webinar to hear Dr. Steve Liang discuss this standard in more depth.
In March, April and May, many customers hit pause to assess where they were and how COVID would impact them. Now we’re seeing that COVID is driving a renewed interest in technologies like SensorUp that support the safety protocols at industrial companies. COVID is driving a heightened attention to front-line employee safety and commodity prices are driving a heightened attention to efficiency so we’re seeing a significant uptick in customer interest and trials as a result.
What excites me most about 2021
I’m excited about not only securing direct customers but also interest from partners. We provide a platform for partners to deliver a geospatial movement intelligence application to their end customers, and that strategy is really taking hold. It’s great to see partners investing in applications on the platform and getting a lot of value from it. They are able to bring their solutions to market much faster using our platform than if they were to build it from scratch themselves.
COVID brought themes of worker safety back to the forefront, and digitization can help promote this. I think 2021 will be the year that IoT could have a breakout year in the industrial world.
I’m encouraged by the openness and optimism from the people we’ve met and had conversations with this year. It’s been an interesting journey, and it’s exciting to see everything come together—traction from our customers, advances in our technology and the world-class team of geospatial data experts we’ve assembled.
While this year has been difficult, there are still many things to be thankful for. We’re seeing our customers’ excitement about what we’re doing, and we’re emerging stronger as a result of the adversity of this year. For these reasons, I’m especially optimistic about 2021.
We hope you stay connected to see all the great changes we have in store next year. From the SensorUp team, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
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