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Irys

Citizen Engagement
Creating better communities and urban environments by facilitating communications and analytics

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Irys

Citizen Engagement
Creating better communities and urban environments by facilitating communications and analytics

Summary

  • Founded in 2014
  • Total funding: £930,000
  • Latest funding round: £930,000 (Seed)
  • Investors include Good Growth Capital, Techstars
  • Offices in Mexico and the US
  • Approx. 15 FTEs
  • Key clients: San Antonio, Texas city government; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Cuauhtémoc neighbourhood government, Mexico City; government of Mexico State; Tampico local government, Mexico.
  • Key executives: Beto Altamarino, CEO: experience in government (Texas House of Representatives, US Senate, White House); Alberto Gomez, COO: academic background in civic participation, tech, and innovation; Eduardo Bravo, CFO: former consultant at EY, expert in US-Mexico relations.

Profile

Half the world’s population lives in cities, and by 2050 the UN estimates this figure will rise to 70%. A host of practical problems accompany this massive urban growth, from improper rubbish collection to infrastructure issues and illegal price gouging. Irys offers AI-driven products to bring real-time visibility and analytics to urban stakeholders, helping them to address these issues efficiently. The Irys I.AM platform improves public infrastructure management by connecting government officials with the right local agencies to identify, track, and resolve issues in the community through the official’s smartphone. Irys’ Community app has a similar function to the I.AM platform but is public-facing, allowing residents to report non-emergency issues to local government officials. The product is an enhanced version of 311 services, a common system in the US for reporting non-emergency problems to local municipalities. However, instead of relying on lengthy (and potentially costly) phone calls, citizens can make reports directly through the Irys Community app. Irys also provides local communications solutions tailored specifically to military communities, as well as an app to track and trace Covid-19. Additionally, the startup increasingly serves private sector organisations such as urban design and engineering firms that are looking to better understand the needs of the communities in which they do business.

Plans

  • Expand from 15 to 35 city and local government clients in the US and internationally.
  • Scalable growth in the US military sector, having cleared in 2020 cybersecurity and bureaucratic processes that dramatically reduce barriers to entry.
  • Leverage new partnership with multinational consulting firm Arcadis to target urban design, consulting, and engineering firms, with the aim of significant growth within the urban technology space.

Who Should Speak To This Company


Local municipalities and military base managers looking to digitalise and optimise their communications with citizens. Urban design, consulting, and engineering firms interested in understanding citizens’ opinions on major infrastructure projects.

Company In Action

Irys recently won a $1.15 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with the US Department of Defence to provide services to Air Force bases. The Air Force is leveraging Irys’ platforms to manage on-site infrastructure and housing needs at its Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA). This base is the largest joint base installation in the Department of Defense. It is home to a diverse community that includes active duty and reserve members of the military, civilian contractors, and their families. The Air Force expects Irys’ platforms to ensure that the leadership’s priorities are in line with the diverse needs of the broader community, promoting social cohesion.

StateUp View

Irys’ growth in 2020 puts it on a strong trajectory for 2021. Its successful SBIR contract with the Department of Defence is an important foray into a large market. Military funding has the potential to be a lucrative and consistent revenue stream. Now that Irys has managed to navigate through the bureaucratic and security hurdles of DoD procurement, future military contracts may be significantly easier to secure. Irys is based in San Antonio, Texas, where it has successfully cultivated relationships with local government officials. The startup has also worked extensively in Latin America, with over 400 city employees in Tampico, Mexico using Irys’ platform to manage public works operations. Their ability to operate across distinct cultures is a major asset for a company that thrives on relationships with local public sector and industry leaders. The management team made a prudent decision to partner with Arcadis. This connection will increase Irys’ competitiveness when bidding on contracts to work with urban design, consulting, and engineering firms.
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