Spanish startups well positioned for the Remote tech era

Updated: Apr 9

- Akiles, Signaturit and Citibox practice safe distancing.

There are some trending, remote behaviors that I would label as forced, considering the strict measurements taken in many countries to make sure its citizens really stay at home. So it's kind of a "no brainer" that a lot more people, in all ages, are going food shopping and seeking medical attention online now, compared to pre-Corona times.

While I'm not so sure that this they-left-me-no-choice online commerce for essentials will stay on this heightened level, we are all very certain by now that what used to be "normal behavior" will have changed once we are permitted to leave our homes to see each other again. (key word being see, not touch.)

What remote services will continue to grow out of choice?

Or maybe a better question should be; "What will you be able to touch post-Corona?"

As long as we stay inside, in our own homes, we are allowed to go bananas and touch anything, most probably we can even lick the floor as many home environments have never been this clean (still, maybe don't do that.. ) Outside of home, sweet home, it will probably be a different story all together though.

Sadly, for a longer period of time, your community will be and feel a lot safer if you stick to just touching your well-disinfected smartphone, not so much else.

These Spanish startups provide some remedy and are well positioned for the remote tech era we are stepping into.

Remote door-keys

The Spanish startup Akiles, lets you open any door from a safe distance so that you don't have to expose your (of course super clean) hands to metal surfaces like keys, locks or door handles. We have been told that the Covid-19 virus stays longer on metal so it can mean a risk if it was touched by a sneezy person in the recent past.

With the tragic spread of the virus, demand has boomed for this Barcelona startup opening their doors for business (obvious pun) only back in 2018.

"In recent weeks, in work environments such as offices and co-workings, there is a great interest in systems that can minimize all kinds of physical contact to the maximum," explains the company's co-founder, Nicolas Salame to Spanish news Cadena Ser.

Screenshot from Akiles promo video, very obviously recorded before the outbreak.. ;)

Remote signing

Another "Remote proof" Spanish startup that you are more likely to have heard about is Signaturit. As the name implies their technology lets you approve documents, leaving your signature without having to touch neither paper nor a - possibly infected - pen.

According to an article in Business Insider España, they have experienced fantastic growth since the outbreak became painfully clear in Spain. For the month of March, Signaturit reportedly reached "half a million signatures, that is 40% more than the average in January and February of this year."

From a conversation with Juan Zamora, CEO for Signaturit, it says in the article:

"Although the company was founded in 2013, a leader in Spain and present in 40 countries, until now it faced strong competition from paper and pen, something that has forcibly changed with the COVID-19 pandemic."

Wait!! Who touched that pen before you? Credit: Unsplash community

Remote delivery

Who hasn't been waiting at home for many hours, within the promised delivery slot, to later get the message that "We are sorry but because of traffic we couldn't deliver your package today": very annoying.

Citibox mail boxes, allowing for receiving packages at home without actual contact with the Deliveryman, has skyrocketed during the Spanish confinement. According to Spanish newspaper Expansión, this Spanish startup has gone from 18,200 to 22,300 installed mailboxes in Madrid and the amount of delivered packages has grown by 67%, surpassing the previous record during Christmas. Further elaborated in the article:

"The company, founded by the entrepreneur David Bernabéu from Valencia, specializes in the installation of automatic mailboxes in the portals of apartment buildings for the reception of parcels from e-commerce companies."

It works like this, explains the article: "The delivery person opens the mailbox and leaves the package and the customer receives a notification on their mobile. When the customer is in front of the mailbox, they receive a unique key, which changes for each delivery, allowing for opening the mailbox and collecting the merchandise."

Crafted by Caroline Lagergren.

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