‘Netflix for GPS’ taking off

Emily Roberts

Top image :
Mondo Pin co-founder Mark Franklin (left) with fellow co-founder and network manager Namo Visudhipol

Mondo Pin co-founder Mark Franklin believes the sky is the limit for the start-up and its global positioning system (GPS) based software-as-a-service offering: “Netflix for GPS”, he calls it.

Working mainly in civil construction so far, Mondo Pin uses Geoscience Australia’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) network of base stations to provide real-time kinematic, or RTK, positioning services for surveyors and other users.

Franklin says Mondo Pin users can access “calculated corrections” to obtain centimetre-level position accuracy.

He says they have traditionally paid A$2000 or more per survey unit, per annum, for processed RTK corrections, though the raw guidance can be accessed for free via government channels.

“A lot of times people have been paying for something they didn’t even know they were paying for let alone the details around cost,” Franklin told InvestMETS. Mondo Pin users paid monthly SaaS fees via a self-managed account.

“We used to call it Netflix for GPS, where you can add or drop memberships on [monthly] subscriptions and then you can cancel any time,” he said.

Mondo Pin was spun out of Melbourne-based survey and spatial information technology and services firm, ThinkSpatial, in mid-2021. It has worked mainly with other surveyors and a civil construction and government client base, but Franklin says there are “limitless opportunities” for the software and service in other industries, including mining. It has about 300 current subscribers.

“It [mining industry] really does seem to be an area where problems exist or there are pain points,” Franklin said.

“It’s also not an industry that likes to be stalled or slowed down in any way.”

Franklin said even large customers were often not aware of the true cost of RTK services, provision of which has been dominated by large, usually international survey equipment firms.

“It’s not that we are actively trying to cause friction, but we are planting seeds and educating people,” he said. “I think that’s important when you run businesses to know where every dollar is going.”

Mondo Pin has seven staff and is hiring.

Franklin said seed investment was adequate to meet the company’s current growth plans.

It might look to outside funding for future offshore expansion.

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