Kerala youth’s startup solves the problem of oil theft | Business

Kerala youth’s startup solves the problem of oil theft | Business

Kochi: In 2014, a Keralite youth working with an IT firm in Sweden read a news story. He got curious about it. He did some investigation and eventually found a treasure hidden underground all over the world. Sounds like a fairy tale? It indeed is one among the several such stories that make the Kerala startup ecosystem an inspiring space of innovation.

The news Safil Sunny, a native of Angamaly in Ernakulam, read was about massive oil theft. The engineering graduate tried to find out why the oil and gas, plush with funds and technological know-how, failed to prevent such incidents. The enquiry led him to the existing flaws in the system and a possible solution. He quit his tech job and started his own venture – Tranzmeo – which aims to make Rs 100 million in revenue in the next five years.

Tranzmeo’s confidence lies in the fact that it is the sole player in the sector in the country. It also claims that its cutting-edge technology is hard to emulate. 

Tranzmeo employs Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, photonics, and fibre sensing, to proactively detect issues such as leaks and intrusions in pipelines, thereby leading to substantial reductions in fuel loss and environmental harm. Importantly, Tranzmeo’s solutions have proven to be an effective deterrent against thefts in the pipelines, a prevalent concern in the energy sector. The company currently monitors approximately 5,000 km of pipelines across India.

The company made it all possible by developing an advanced software system that effectively decodes the data sent through the existing fibre lines laid along the pipelines. Tranzmeo’s advanced analytics software engine based on AI and ML algorithms fixes the limitations of the fibre-sensing hardware already installed by the pipeline companies. 

“Our system can accurately identify more than 20 different types of potentially harmful activities happening around the pipeline. The system automatically generates alerts if any specific pattern of activities is identified as a threat. The system infers intelligence based on an exhaustive library of threat event signature data built by Tranzmeo. Our software has been trained and calibrated extensively with more than 20 million records of actual ground activity signatures,” Safil said. 

Safil spent a couple of years on research before incorporating his company in 2017. In 2018, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) joined the youth’s venture as an investor and the public sector major continues to be one of the directors of the company.

This year, Tranzmeo achieved a milestone by securing an exclusive invitation to the prestigious Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) 2023. The ATCE, nearing its centenary mark, is one of the largest gatherings of energy professionals worldwide. Tranzmeo was the sole Indian startup representing the energy sector at the global event.

Tranzmeo’s has already expanded its operations in the United States by opening an office there. 

The company has rapidly earned the trust of major industry players, including Fortune 500 companies such as HPCL and Petronet MHB. Tranzmeo’s visionary approach extends beyond the energy sector into adjacent markets, including border and perimeter security and power cable monitoring, within a $10-billion industry exhibiting a robust 10% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

In 2021, the startup was chosen by Cisco LaunchPad, an accelerator programme that helps high-potential startups in the B2B segment to scale. It was also selected by Microsoft as one of the emerging unicorns during 2019-20.

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