Thursday, April 18, 2024

Skalata backs Queensland Uni grads in software program startup reworking chemical engineering

A software program startup developed by two College of Queensland graduates has raised $200,000 in a Seed spherical backed by Melbourne VC Skalata Ventures.

Lewi Software program is tackling an unsexy a part of asset administration within the chemical compounds sector – wastewater administration, which has suffered from underinvestment on the software program from in comparison with the remainder of the $4 trillion international chemical compounds business. 

Cofounders Vishnu Avudainayagam and Geraldine Terada-Bellis mentioned that in Australia, round 22 utility firms service $100 billion of property in wastewater alone. However not like profit-driven sectors like oil and fuel, the place hundreds of thousands are poured into software program growth, wastewater was left behind.

“The chemical engineering software program we use within the business was all developed within the 90s, utilizing toolbars with 50 plus buttons and software program packages that had been primarily a Microsoft Paint-style interface,” Avudainayagam mentioned.

It’s convoluted and tough to make use of. We’ve seen different startups altering the sport when it comes to consumer expertise with applications like Figma and Canva. So we questioned: why is engineering software program so behind when it comes to product lead and user-centric experiences?”

The present commonplace sees information plotted in Excel spreadsheets and engineers are compelled to manually trawl via them to test calculations, they burn up useful time, and initiatives are delayed.

Terada-Bellis mentioned Lewi’s product and algorithms allow managers to make unified choices to enhance asset efficiency, integrating course of information with the calculation fashions developed by their engineers.

She mentioned the software program is adaptable for “any course of engineer or chemical engineer, working in every thing from bulk chemical manufacturing, to biofuels, to meals and beverage manufacturing, to ingesting water”.

The pair educated as water and environmental engineers and are additionally programmers, and their platform has already been utilized by blue chip shoppers akin to City Utilities and Rio Tinto.

College of Queensland head of entrepreneurship Nimrod Klayman congratulated his alumni on securing their first spherical of funding after finishing the College’s ilab Accelerator Program. 

“It is a big accomplishment and a testomony to the laborious work and dedication of the group. With the help of Skalata, Lewi will proceed to develop,” he mentioned.

Skalata funding supervisor Tom Smalley mentioned Lewi embodies the VC’s curiosity in historically “boring” firms. 

“We love working with groups who’ve deep area experience, and are captivated with fixing big ache factors in notoriously neglected sectors,” he mentioned.



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