Kenya’s HydroIQ wins Startup of the Year Africa 2018, a collaborative magazine with a database of over 8,000 startups, has announced HydroIQ as the startup of the year 2018 Africa.

According to Africa Business, over 600 startups from 52 countries participated in the competition. In addition, 12,000 votes were cast online and 41 million people reached on social media. The awards ceremony was held at Casablanca at the end of January 2018.

What is HydroIQ?

An article on states, “HydroIQ is a GPS and internet enabled device that is plugged into existing water supply systems, in homes or businesses and along water distribution network to automatically monitor water use, water quality and water leakages using sensors and send the data to an online platform in real-time, thereby turning traditional water systems into smart water grids to improve water efficiencies, sanitation and hygiene.”

HydroIQ’s technology allows for a pay to own model for distributed payment plans hence reducing the upfront cost of taking up the technology, which has been a barrier to adoption of technology by utility companies, water service boards, and consumers.”

The founders of HydroIQ are Victor Shikoli and Brian Bosire. They have a background in electrical and electronics engineering and electronics and computer engineering respectively. The idea of a virtual water network operator was triggered through their experience of living in Nairobi. The founders say that they would receive water bills even when taps remained for weeks.