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ProStar [TSXV:MAPS] underground mapping technology that is saving millions of pounds


ProStar is a recently listed [TSXV-MAPS / FSE: 5D00], SaaS technology company that holds patented solutions that can immediately help literally thousands of municipalities, utilities, and construction companies worldwide. It is a US-based specialist in Precision Mapping Solutions™ – cloud-based data that can be used to benefit any organisation having to be or planning to be digging in the ground.

ProStar enjoys technical patents (19 issued so far), protecting a disruptive technology model with steady, recurring revenue from an expanding customer base.

Why we have added ProStar to our Picks

  • Leaders in precision, subsurface mapping technology (think Google Maps for underground)
  • A SaaS, recurring revenue business already servicing Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and others
  • Precision data compilation recorded and delivered via portable devices to and from offices, on-site engineers, field workers, city and project planners, infrastructure architects, CTOs, CEOs, etc.
  • A highly scalable business model with each new project becoming its own ongoing revenue stream
  • Saves money, protects the environment and public safety all while streamlining corporate and governmental operations – an immediate win–win–win
  • An existing and expanding list of top tier clients and zero debt
  • Expanded very rapidly in 2020 (during the global pandemic), catering to an industry that is expected to expand even further in today’s COVID and tomorrow’s post-COVID economies

The operational challenge for construction companies

Let’s take a look at the operational problem faced by many of ProStar’s clients. While there are 2.65 million miles of paved roads and highways overground in just the US, there are 35 million miles of pipeline and utilities underneath the surface, with many more added, repaired, or replaced every year. Unfortunately, in any given year, in the process of constructing, maintaining, replacing, or repairing critical infrastructure, there are over 500,000 incidents in which underground lines and pipelines are damaged or destroyed. These incidents result in environmental damage, loss of electricity, gas, phone connections, local flooding, disrupted traffic, injuries, and sadly, even loss of life.

Below New York City alone, subsurface utilities are inadvertently cut 500 times a day during construction and maintenance activities, with damages into some $300 million every year. Digging some 20cm or 30cm off one’s intended target can make a difference between a standard gas line installation or repair and a catastrophe.

Compared with the available information for what is above the surface with GPS and satellite pictures – accessible on mobile phones – the current data sets covering what lies underneath are not fit for the 21st century. Utility and pipeline companies have maps of their underground structures but those are not sufficiently precise. A lot of the records are in the form of rudimentary sketches, many of which are old, lost, or may never have even existed. Most are still in paper format.

ProStar offers scope for the global construction industry to get away from all this.

Its potential market looks enormous and the company can readily scale up its data rollout as it is leveraging the cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

There is a strong industry, government and even growing environmental insistence that easily accessible, safe, precise, permanent cloud-based data gets used at every level of a subsurface project (from conceptualising to costing, building, maintaining, or replacing). In 2020 ProStar entered into a business partnership with the multinational Trimble (NYSE, TRMB), allowing the company full access to their GPS/GNSS receivers.

In late 2020 ProStar completed its integration into the full line of Trimble’s GPS and GNS equipment, including their new product called Catalyst, a $350 receiver which, combined with ProStar’s Pointman application, can precisely capture the location of the buried utilities and pipelines down to the centimeter. It works anywhere in the world using the Trimble network.

Listen to our podcast with ProStar CEO & President, Page Tucker

Core products

Knowing the type, precise location, and condition of what lies below the earth’s surface can significantly decrease liabilities and increase productivity during construction and maintenance activities.

ProStar’s PointMan software solution is intuitively user-friendly, and a highly intelligent cloud-based mobile software application that enables field workers, Project Managers, CTO’s and CEO immediate, real-time access to critical utility data. PointMan’s streamlined solution allows product data to be digitally captured, recorded, and shared to ensure project requirements and regulatory standards. This seamless integration works with all major, globally recognized GPS/GNSS receivers.

PointMan Enterprise is an intuitive software platform delivering innovative cloud technology and geospatial intelligence in an integrated system to improve asset management and overall internal business practices. The Enterprise is a combination of secure cloud services and an open geospatial engine and data collection technology that provides real-time and streamlined integration with client incorporated systems. This solution costs approximately $100,000 per year per project.

Why we like ProStar

The company is coming onto the market at a very interesting time in the US, as we anticipate further post-COVID construction spending at both federal and municipal levels as part of a trillion dollar infrastructure spend.

Beyond this, ProStar has proprietary technology that is being taken seriously by major names in the construction industry. It has few – if any – real competitors in its field and a clear shot at rolling out its data and services globally to an industry that has been largely allowed to continue to operate during COVID lockdowns (e.g. critical infrastructure repairs still need to be carried out).

ProStar has no debt and a growing client list that includes Fortune 500 companies and local government agencies and is currently being integrated into the engineering curriculums of several large, highly respected US universities. ProStar has impressive international growth plans as well. This is a good demonstration of how it is not restricted to just North America.

We are fast moving into an area where data will be the new oil and play an important part in the way companies operate. Companies in ProStar’s space need a solution like this to prevent ongoing costly mistakes.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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