Mining tech start-ups raise cash

MINING technology plays Geomoby and Torqn have each attracted new investment this month.

Staff reporter
 GeoMoby CEO and Founder Chris Baudia (left) and director Mathieu Paul

GeoMoby CEO and Founder Chris Baudia (left) and director Mathieu Paul

Founded in 2013, Perth-based Geomoby provides an all-in-one visibility platform allowing real-time monitoring of assets and people.

The company last week secured A$3 million in funding from multiple European investors to support the further roll-out of its technology.

The capital raise was also supported by existing shareholders as well as a strategic GeoMoby partner - Agreement Hub - and a grant from METS Ignited, part of the Australian government's Industry Growth Centre Initiative.

The money will be allocated towards expanding its sales and business development team, as well as adding to a strong team of staff focused on technology development.

GeoMoby is targeting long-term contracts with Western Australian-based underground mining companies but its technology can also be applied to surface mining operations and construction sites.

"We are extremely encouraged by the support of investors in Australia, and in Europe, and look forward to rolling out this world-leading location technology further to underground mines, initially, in Western Australia but then, as the news spreads, throughout Australia and globally, Geomoby founder and CEO Chris Baudia said.

"Australian mining companies want to keep their workers - often in remote areas - safe, and this technology is the best, most reliable way to do that right now in the world. This latest funding now enables us to provide Australian miners with a gold standard location service and we are working hard to educate the mining sector about our cost-effective technology.

"We are now Australia's most advanced location intelligence platform with a specialisation in live tracking and geofencing technologies for the mining and construction industries."

This capital raising was the second successful funding round undertaken by GeoMoby after the company raised $1.25 million last year.

Meanwhile, machinery app Torqn also attracted $3 million in funding.

Torqn, developed by Tory McDonald and Brett Banker, is designed to support workers on the ground and help them meet noise and carbon targets.

Torqn has secured the backing of industry with a $3 million capital raise.

The app is a mix between social media and a review site, the app connects tradespeole to the plant and equipment they work on, to help each other fix them and improve the way they use it.

Baker said bureaucracy in the mining industry could be frustrating.

"Sites tend to operate like little fiefdoms, and knowledge sharing is always difficult [because] a mining company with 100 sites is likely to have 100 different sets of procedures rather than one standardised set," he said.

"Part of the reason for that is that the mines in the network aren't regularly sharing information because it's difficult to do it efficiently so they can share best practice."

Baker said Torqn's biggest selling point was its capacity to help the industry improve its on-site safety.

"Think about how inadequate the current mining industry safety-alert communication system is," he said.

"Our mining regulators do their best to communicate safety alerts efficiently to the industry, but that is limited because they can only publish a safety alert on their website and email the alerts to their contact list that may not be up to date.

"Best case scenario, maybe a couple of people on a site with 400 employees gets an alert and then they have to decide what to do with the information."

Torqn is set to hit the market in the coming days.

McDonald said other capital-intensive industries such as agribusiness, aviation and renewable energy could benefit from Torqn, as could anybody using expensive equipment anywhere around the world.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining News Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining News Intelligence team.


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