For most of us, infrastructure is invisible until there is a problem. But every year, hundreds of billions of dollars of equipment such as powerlines, underground cables and mobile phone towers needs to be installed, maintained and updated. That work requires deep understanding of where all the existing equipment is, how it operates, and how it will be affected by things like weather, vegetation and construction.

With recent floods swamping New South Wales, wildfires burning across Australia and California and severe weather events causing Texas to go without power and communications it's clearer than ever that how this work gets done can mean lives lost or saved. Unfortunately, doing this well is currently slow and expensive. Most networks require an army of contractors to manually inspect powerlines and feed back data to engineers who perform complex one-off analyses to make determinations about how to maintain and grow the network.

Neara creates a digital twin of an infrastructure network that looks like a futuristic 3D world but is so accurate it can be used for engineering-grade analysis. The idea is that creating a physics engine for infrastructure opens up a vast world of optimisation. They just raised a $7.25m Series A and shared their journey and vision on the podcast.

Time Stamps 

  • 3:30- Introduction to Neara 

  • 4:36- Meet Dan Danilatos

  • 6:41- Meet Jack Curtis

  • 11:26- Meet Karamvir Singh

  • 13:56- How to meet your co-founders, the unconventional way.

  • 16:50- Dan on founding Helix

  • 17:46- Neara’s origin story: solving problems for Dan's wife

  • 19:06- Closing their first customer

  • 20:38- How Dan chose to go full-time on Neara

  • 21:45- How to choose co-founders

  • 25:55- The problem with managing infrastructure without Neara

  • 29:41-  How Neara works for their customers

  • 32:44- The benefits of using Neara

  • 34:47- How the infrastructure ecosystem can grow

  • 35:23- Building company culture

  • 36:52- How Neara fundraised

  • 40:13- Why role of timing and luck

  • 41:14 - What the future holds for Neara 

Guest info: 

Daniel Danilatos Founder & CEO at Neara

Daniel began his career as a software engineer for Google before moving along to roles at Dropbox and graphic design start-up Canva. At Google, he built (as a tech lead) the world's first web real-time collaborative rich text editor. The technology involved pushing the envelope of what was possible with browsers at the time, utilized operational transform algorithms for low latency typing, and an extensible API for rich collaborative objects. Before founding Neara, he founded the Helix Collective, a venture hacking partnership. 

 Daniel holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales.

Jack Curtis  Chief Commerical Officer at Neara 

Jack Curtis’s childhood goal was to become a barrister, resulting in him joining the international commercial law firm Allens. He worked in the corporate department which took him to New York. Jack spent three years in New York eventually moving to work for leading global investment banking Goldman Sachs. Moving onto a role as the Director of Strategic Marketing for First Solar. Jack spent 12 years at First Solar, a 9b market cap global leader in solar energy. He was the international senior vice president at First Solar. He returned back to Australia where he sat as a director on the board of Clean Energy Australia. 

Jack holds a Bachelor in  Laws(Honours) from the University of Technology Sydney 

Karamvir Singh  Product Lead at Neara

Karam has worked as a software engineer and led major technology teams to deliver multi-million dollar projects at major Australian bank, Westpac, but it’s always been the product and development side of the business that has kept him fascinated. He began his career at IT company CSC before working as a Senior Developer at Macquarie Bank. His time at Westpac saw him develop strategic technology architecture as part of a major business transformation project. 

Karamvir holds a Bachelor of Software Engineering and Commerce from the University of New South Wales.

Podcast Notes

Neara is a cloud-based enterprise SaaS platform making the most complex analysis, design and application accessible at every level of the infrastructure industry.

Originally founded as Power Lines Pro, our platform delivers a true digital twin, performing complex engineering-grade analysis automatically and at a whole-of-network scale. Users of all roles and levels can interact, modify, build, and manage assets accurately with immersive 3D interfaces, leading to high employee engagement, collaboration and alignment.

Check out James Tynan’s investment notes to read more.

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