Ever spent a frustrating 20 minutes with your smartphone maps telling you that you’re in the right place, but you just aren’t? Yeah, us too. GPS has got us from place to place since 1983, but let’s face it – modern-day tracking needs a revamp.
Enter Naurt: The Brighton start-up developing the next GPS. With up to 150 x more tracking accuracy, this innovative technology can provide an exact location within 10 centimetres. Naurt works anywhere in the world, inside and out, and is easy for developers to integrate using an API plugin.
Founders of Naurt, Jack Maddalena and Nick Slack, have been developing Naurt since 2017. The pair hit it off at a tech event in 2015 and subsequently began working together on various projects. Jack’s background as the Co-Founder of successful immersive tech company VR Craftworks, paired with Nick’s experience as an academic and freelance Technical Consultant, make for a brilliant match.
In a client meeting one day, Jack asked a client what their most significant pain point was, to which they replied: “matching customers up at different points on their journeys, like drivers and passengers at an airport”.
I rang Nick and asked if he knew anything about tracking software, and he said: “funnily enough, I’ve been building something over the past six months”. I was like, perfect, wrap that up, we’re selling it.”
Jack immediately brought Nick onboard the company he was running as a Chief Technology Officer and began R&D on the project. After a few years of building out the technology, they started commercialising in 2020.
The use cases for Naurt are endless. Take energy and telecoms: their tracking of underground equipment is archaic, often leading to inefficient, inaccurate and unsustainable practice. Cables or pipes would get placed in the ground, and it would be standard never to see them again. With Naurt, these companies could track and locate the exact location of faulty infrastructure for maintenance by providing an X marks the spot and saving months.
Existing GPS has fundamentally been a barrier for innovation, and Naurt is revolutionising the potential in multiple industries. Two of the most exciting areas for Naurt are autonomous agents and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Naurt could be used to geo-fence a city so that E-scooters could be programmed to go 30 miles per hour when on the road but slow down to 5 miles per hour when moving onto a pavement. This lack of tracking solution has previously been a huge barrier to rolling out E-scooters, but Naurt could fix that…”
“… Drone deliveries too, a barrier to implementing drone deliveries has been that there’s too much danger in not knowing the pathway of a drone. Naurt can know exactly where a drone is at any given moment, making sure it has a safe passage and preventing it from flying into things.”
Naurt has put mitigations and safety nets in place to ensure that each use case is ethical. Critically, they don’t store or allow storing of anyone’s data.
After recently joining the BRITE programme at Plus X Brighton, Naurt is scaling fast. They are looking to grow their team from 4 to 12 within the next six months and are looking to fill all roles from AI Developers and Mathematic Modellers to Content Producers and Community Leads.
“We’re looking for people that are curious and bold. What we’re doing is no easy feat, and we need people who are comfortable going down rabbit holes, metaphorically, of course. We want to bring in talent who are changing the way we perceive and work with the world. People who are comfortable with failing, seeing it as a route to improving the technology. That’s the company culture that we’re actively cultivating.”
It’s incredible to see Naurt embodying a value integral to Plus X community culture – the attraction and retention of Brighton’s talent.
Naurt has recently closed its first round of investment, successfully oversubscribing by 145%. This success has not just been a financial gain but also a sense of validation. One of their key challenges when innovating Naurt has been that nobody believed that what they were doing was possible. Over the past few years, Nick and Jack have been avidly building on a theory that nobody believed. Tweaking, testing, refining and improving this technology entirely unlike any other.
“There was no way that we could go to another company and copy what they had done. We are creating a ground-breaking tracking technology.”
Currently, they are selecting clients to access the technology for user testing, going through a process of smoothing out the knots and bumps. In the next twelve months, Naurt is looking to launch beta testing on their API for developers, with projects already underway in the Middle East. Naurt’s goal is to dominate the tracking market and to become a global approach for developers.
“We want to get to the point where Naurt becomes a verb… where developers come to a problem in tracking, and they say: “let’s just Naurt it” or “throw Naurt at it”, we want Naurt to become a no-brainer for developers because it’s such a low cost and powerful tool. We’ve created the next GPS, so you don’t have to. You can just plug it in and focus on what you’re good at.”
Naurt joined the BRITE programme at Plus X Brighton in November 2020. When asked how the programme was supporting them to innovate and scale, Jack responded:
“It’s been beneficial in multiple facets. It’s been key for us to have a mirror held up to keep us accountable month in and month out to see where we’re progressing and where we need to be moving forward. The connection with Brighton University has meant that we can access specialists interested in mapping out and exploring the theories we have. Joining the programme has meant we can cover all bases and accelerate our growth and move forward as fast as possible.”
You can find out more about Naurt, including role opportunities, here.
If you are also interested in joining the BRITE Innovation programme, you can register your interest here. The Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange (BRITE) is a business innovation programme for ambitious and established businesses. BRITE could provide you with specialist research and development expertise and the support and facilities to make your business growth journey a reality.