When internet service goes down in 2021, it’s hard not to notice. (Hi, Fastly.) Telecommunications companies get flooded with calls, but it’s not always clear where the problem lies.
Solving that is the concept behind Gisual, a nearly two-year-old startup that diagnoses commercial power outages and troubleshoots for its telecoms clients. The company, built by two Philly-area technologists with experience consulting with companies like Comcast and working for AWeber, was recently accepted into the Microsoft for Startups program.
Gisual focuses on helping these big companies reduce mean-time-to-repair by diagnosing off-network outages and providing accurate restoration times. Essentially, it helps them explain the outage or problem to their customer and when they’ll be able to fix it, cofounder and CEO Tom Ayling told Technical.ly.
“A telecom [client] doesn’t know why their customers are calling them, and the telecoms are sending those alarms,” Ayling said. “You are diagnosing why those alarms are going off.”
With the tech leadership of cofounder and CTO Robin Klingsberg, who previously worked as Chalfont-based AWeber’s director of deliverability, Gisual went to market in early 2020, and has since picked up a crew of clients and raised a pre-seed round. Investors include Soma Capital, JARS Capital and Urban Us.
Joining Microsoft’s program will allow Gisual to run on Microsoft’s cloud computing service, Azure, and meet some of the company’s customer base. Ayling heard about the program through a friend that was in it, and he said it will help the startup figure out the needs for the next evolution of their product.
“Microsoft is pleased about the future Gisual is building and we’re going to help them get there faster,” said Tom Davis, senior director of Microsoft for Startups, in a statement. “Telecommunications networks are impacted with outages on a daily basis and the technology that Gisual is providing telecommunication companies with will have an impact on their end-customers’ everyday lives.”
Currently, Ayling and Klingsberg are joined by six others, all engineers. In a few months, the company plans to fundraise and aims to build and grow in Philly. After working on startups before founding his own, Ayling, a Penn State University grad, said the experience isn’t too different than being one of those first 10 employees.
“In a startup, everyone is rowing in the same direction,” he said. “The biggest thing I learned is growth. You just have to be rapidly growing, focus on that weekly to monthly growth.”-30-