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10% equity for $300K in corrosion monitoring app, a good deal?

Interested in 10 per cent equity in return for a $300,000 investment in an AI-powered corrosion monitoring app? Yes! then maybe SteelCorr - Digital Paint Report app would be worth a look that empowers stakeholders to efficiently plan the asset maintenance, extending asset life and improving the ROI.


“The app was first conceptualised in 2016 as a data repository and data sharing app for maritime assets and took over a year to develop. In 2018, after extensive pilot testing and a thorough vetting process, the Digital Paint Report (DPR) app was hosted on the DNV Veracity platform. Artificial intelligence (AI) was added in 2020 to objectively identify corrosion levels and establish maintenance trends for the various areas of the asset,” said Leroy Dias, managing director, SteelCorr


The startup — co-founded also by Neil Dias — was acknowledged by the industry and nominated as a finalist in the ‘Technical Innovation’ category at Lloyds List Intelligence awards 2018 and Seatrade Maritime Awards 2019 and 2020.


“The core strength and domain knowledge of our team is paint maintenance. Dubai and its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem encouraged us to dream big and at the same time, we were able to keep costs low. We decided to create a collaborative app that would enable all stakeholders to maintain oversight on the asset maintenance by sharing data, photos, and videos, at a reasonable cost,” said Dias, who holds a bachelors degree in engineering, a NACE Protective Coating Specialist and a FROSIO Paint Inspector certification with over two decades of experience in the paint and coatings industry. He is the vice-chair of the SSPC UAE Chapter.


Another co-founder Neil Dias, managing partner at Print Outs, Business Bay, Dubai, holds a master's degree in mathematics, a master's diploma in software engineering, and an MBA in strategic management and finance.


The co-founders claim the DPR is a very unique app as it allows the entire paint life cycle of the asset to be monitored right from surface preparation and coating application to performance and maintenance. The AI algorithm and the video-sharing capability make it an objective performance monitoring tool. Whilst the app is collaborative in nature, we let the customer decide who has access to the data, in what capacity, and for how long.


The app’s senior developer Zakariyya said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to work on a unique app and to my knowledge, it is the only one of its kind in this industry. It is bound to succeed, and we are already seeing the signs of success with the subscriptions to date.”


The startup is bootstrapped with family funds and is currently reaching out to potential partners to help them scale. Dias cautions, “our ideal partner would be an individual/organisation from the maritime industry.”


Over the past two years, over 75 ships, eight ship owners, and three ship management companies are using the Digital Paint Report (DPR) app.


“Our goal is to have 200 ships using our app before the end of 2021. There are also discussions ongoing with a few organisations that intend to use our app on their own cloud servers to enhance their data privacy. If funding is successful, we will use some of the investment to develop the offline version of the app to enable customers to upload data without the need for an internet connection. We will also reinforce the sales and marketing efforts to reach out to new geographies. Currently, the AI capability applies only to photos, however, we intend to extend it to videos as well to enable better oversight of the asset,” concluded Dias. —