Non-destructive testing inspection is becoming much easier now that the Cary-based startup Floodlight Software is on the scene.
Non-destructive testing, or NDT, is what keeps our infrastructure—from towers and bridges to pipelines—efficient and safe. In this context “non-destructive” means that while the inspection is thorough, it’s not so invasive as to negatively impact the infrastructure itself, such as by changing its chemical composition or weakening joints.
Floodlight Software provides a data- and process-management platform for inspection companies, allowing them to run their business on Floodlight’s platform and keep track of everything in one place.
Floodlight, which will be presenting at CED’s Venture Connect summit in March, was born under the umbrella of enterprise mobile software solution company Mobile Reach, also based in Cary. Nasrin Azari, Floodlight’s Founder and CEO, is also President of Mobile Reach, though she spends nearly all her time with Floodlight.
Azari said that while working for NDT company Applus at Mobile Reach, she and her team realized how complicated NDT inspectors’ processes are and realized they wanted to build a niche platform for that specific market.
“What we discovered was there was a lot of interest in our inspection use cases,” Azari said. “They would say, tell me more about what you do for inspections, and we would explain what we did for this one customer and they’d say, ‘That’s a really, really big market and it’s a really, really big problem.’”
Floodlight launched in the summer of 2018, with three companies already using the software at between $40 to $60 per user per month. Account managers, operations professionals, field technicians and managers all use the platform, while Floodlight has eight employees.
The name of Floodlight originates from Azari’s belief in how the software aids NDT companies in their inspections.
“There’s basically an end-to-end—what we call quote-to-cash—process that they go through,” Azari said. “And at the moment it’s very complex. It’s very murky. There’s a bunch of steps that happen, and there’s not a lot of communication between different people in the process. And so what we’ve developed with Floodlight is a way to get everything all in one place and open the visibility to the entire team. So to me that was like shining a light on the process and the companies and giving them the visibility they need to make their businesses work better and work smarter.”
In that way, Floodlight Software is shining its light on what is happening in the business in a simplified way. The whole process—from the customer’s request, project negotiations, sets of jobs for field inspectors, data collection during the inspection and final reports—are brought together with ease.
Preventing Disasters Before They Happen
Many people might not think about the underlying necessity of inspecting the infrastructure around us, but NDT inspection is at work in preventing catastrophes like oil spills, which can only happen when inspections reveal pipes have been corroded before they fail.
“All the train tracks, all the things that you can think of that basically enable our economic culture, the transport of natural gas and oil, being able to support transportation, airplanes, all of that equipment that we call industrial equipment, is basically what makes the world go around,” Azari said. “The infrastructure that we’ve built over the years is aging, so inspection companies basically inspect this equipment to ensure that it’s operating properly and that it’s safe. And so we look at our platform as helping to make the world a safer and more productive place to live and work.”
Originally, Floodlight Software planned to launch in January of last year, but the startup waited a few months to get the product right, Azari said. She said customers are seeing the product and recognizing it as what they want and need.
“I feel really good and strong about our ability to penetrate the market,” Azari said. “Our hope is that within three to five years we’ve got 25% of the market using our platform. And then the other piece of it is, some of our goals are that we want to become this digital transformation platform for inspection companies that are doing a lot of work manually, with very inefficient processes. And we have the ability to change that for this market.”
Floodlight Software is excited to meet others in the Triangle tech community at CED’s Venture Connect Summit, specifically seeking potential investors for the now-bootstrapped startup.
“We have a great start,” Azari said. “We’ve got really good momentum, and we really need some support to take us to the next level. I’m excited to share the story and to find some partners that can help us take our products and our company to the next level.”
Catch Floodlight Software presenting on Tuesday, March 17, in Room 301A/B under the “Life Digitized” umbrella.