WeCare tests IoT for farm safety in Africa

The Italian startup, already awarded for the Amyko solution by BNP Paribas Cardif in the Open-F@b Call4Ideas 2016, goes on evolving and standing out in competitions. In Africa it launched Amuuko, an IoT solution against the risk of theft of livestock farms

Published on 28 Apr 2018

A lifesaving bracelet connected to a platform that can store and share (using Nfc technology) all the medical information of the user. With this solution called Amyko (currently on the market), WeCare won in 2016 Open-F@b Call4Ideas of BNP Paribas Cardif and began to collaborate with the Company, as explained to us Marcello Bonora, CEO of the company, in this interview.
Moreover, the company has developed technology and new products, for example Amuuko, dedicated to the world of farm animals, which is currently being tested in Africa. In this continent the problem of theft of livestock has taken on the dimensions of a real social scourge, as in recent years there has been an escalation in quantity and quality of thefts, increasingly violent and, according to some sources, in the hands of organized crime and often terrorist groups.
So, WeCare with this new solution faces one of the main risks for livestock farmers, but also allows to keep track of the health of the animals and consequently the supply chain, taking advantage of a low-cost hi-tech solution consisting of hardware devices combined with software, cloud platform, communication systems such as Beacon and NFC.
For the development of Amuuko very important was the participation of the startup to the reality show B Heroes, according to a press note. B Heroes is the reality show about startups broadcasted on the NOVE channel conceived and created by Fabio Cannavale, president of lm foundation (and founder and CEO of lastminute.com Group), in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo and with the sponsorship of several important tech companies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Facebook and Google.
A reality show that “really put the WeCare team to the test,” says the company, “by making the projects already faced by WeCare, in a very intense way and, above all, helped to outline more the strategic focus of the new brand dedicated to animals, Amuuko.
Amuuko is based on a subcutaneous NFC microchip associated with an ear tag with a unique identification number and barcode. Identification allows you to know, view and update the various crucial identity information on a cloud platform that can be managed directly by institutions and/or private entities. In addition, a collar equipped with Beacon technology, connected to specific antennas powered by public energy or solar panels, will allow to know the exact location of the animals located through a satellite and shown on the smartphone/tablet or laptop and sends an alert to the breeder in case the animal should leave the perimeter or the collar is removed.
Amuuko is currently carrying out a pilot project in Senegal that could open up the market in a continent whose economy is based on livestock farming as one of its pillars. WeCare looked at the cross-border market as early as 2016 and thanks to the support of a charity cause in Africa came into contact with a Senegalese entrepreneur who served as connecting point for the presentation of Amuuko in the country.
“We left Italy to expand into other countries, in Africa (Senegal and Mauritania) – says the CEO of WeCare, Marcello Bonora – we started some projects in the veterinary field and today we are looking again at Italy for the European launch of our product dedicated to animals.
Like the Amyko system for humans, Amuuko is also totally safe, its components in fact do no harm. To prove this, the two Amyko founders have been carrying an NFC chip (ICAR-certified) in their hands for more than 2 years.
It was decided to base the system on NFC technology because, unlike RFID (e.g. the technology used for pets), it allows to connect to an external database simply with a smartphone. During transmission and storage, the data is perfectly protected. This system and method of management and transmission of data, including sensitive data (the same underlying the operation of the Amyko bracelet) is patented by WeCare which received official confirmation of the patent in August 2017, already filed back in April 2015.
In addition to the success of obtaining a patent for the management of sensitive and supersensitive data and the important project in Africa, WeCare in 2017 achieved several important goals. The team is growing and has 17 people in Italy in the office in Milan and 6 people in Senegal where a joint venture with the local company was opened. WeCare SRL is considering an imminent transformation from S.R.L. to S.P.A. in relation to the round A under discussion and to be able to manage equity to be shared with employees who have worked and believed in WeCare’s projects since the beginning.
WeCare with the product Amyko, has been selected this year among the 10 finalists of Challenge 4.0 Healthcare, promoted by IBM in collaboration with Digital Magics HealthTech; and is among the 10 finalists of the Civil Protect Award of Bolzano, dedicated to startups who develop products and services dedicated to rescue, firefighting and civil protection.

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Donatella Cambosu

Scrive di tecnologie, startup e innovazione da oltre 15 anni. Dal 2015 collabora con il Gruppo Digital360, in particolare con le testate Startupbusiness, University2Business, EconomyUp. Collabora con InsuranceUp sin dal lancio del portale avvenuto nel 2015 e ha maturato un'ampia esperienza in ambito insurtech.

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