A Liverpool tech firm which uses surveying and space technology to help utility and infrastructure companies find their buried assets is doubling its workforce after a record-breaking 2020. 

MGISS, which is based in the Baltic Triangle, has increased its turnover by 20 per cent year-on-year since 2015 to £700,000 in the last 12 months and plans to grow from 10 staff to 20 by 2022.  

Managing director Michael Darracott started the business in 2014 after identifying the challenge industries like water, energy and transportation faced in finding assets like cabling, pipework and tunnels when they’re buried underground. 

MGISS 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.  

Darracott explained: “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 4.4 million 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. 

Darracott said: “2020 was a difficult year for everyone because of Covid but it highlighted the value of our approach and technology. 

“Demand for our tech solutions increased significantly in 2020 and we saw an increase in annual recurring revenue growth of 60 per cent 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. 

Darracott said the company is currently evaluating additional investment as part of its growth strategy. 

“We are seeing an increasing demand for our services in a traditionally risk-averse sector,” he said. “Any investment will be tied to a need to scale our solutions to meet the needs of enterprise businesses, therefore it’s about securing talent and scaling technology.”