Based in Baltic Triangle in Liverpool, MGISS uses surveying and space technology to help locate pipes, cables and tunnels for utility companies, and has seen revenues soar. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool tech firm specialising in helping utility and infrastructure companies locate buried assets is to double its workforce after seeing revenues soar by 60%.
MGISS was started by managing director Michael Darracott in 2014. It uses surveying and space technology to find assets such as cabling, pipework and tunnels when they are buried underground.
Based in the city’s Baltic Triangle district, a fast-growing hub for the digital and creative sector, MGISS has increased its turnover rise to £700,000 in the last 12 months and plans to grow from 10 staff to 20 by 2022.
The firm combines satellite positioning technology and earth observation data to enable field workers to find hidden assets like a burst water main faster, thereby keeping supply interruptions to a minimum.
Mr Darracott said: “I launched MGISS because the utilities and infrastructure companies faced a perfect storm of ageing assets, climate change and increased regulation, often compounded by incomplete historical information about where their buried assets are.
“One of our clients is Northumbrian Water Group, which has a network of 26,000 km of water pipes. Trying to locate a critical valve or section of pipe when they’re buried underground and you’re against the clock is a challenge.”
Northumbrian Water Group, incorporating Essex and Suffolk Water, supplies water and sewerage services to 4.4m people, turned to MGISS and their technology because it’s accurate to within a few centimetres and is much faster and more efficient than the alternatives.
Several of MGISS’s clients are in the water industry, where companies can be fined millions of pounds for not getting customers back on supply after an interruption such as a burst main or major leak.
“2020 was a difficult year for everyone because of COVID but it highlighted the value of our approach and technology,” Mr Darracott added. “Demand for our tech solutions increased significantly in 2020 and we saw an increase in annual recurring revenue growth of 60% over the last 12 months. We now expect to double in size to 20 staff by 2022.”
As well as the water industry MGISS works with several major gas suppliers and multi-infrastructure contractors such as Sir Robert McAlpine and Wales and West Utilities. Mr Darracott said the company is currently evaluating additional investment as part of its growth strategy.