Industrial engineer Max Echeverria wants to transform how industries collect data through his startup Eskuad. While he is looking to help field operators, the concept for the software startup actually dates back to his time as a summer guide for high school students in Patagonia.
While bringing high school students on an adventure through Argentina, Echeverria said he needed to find a way to report back to their parents when they were in areas with little or no internet access. On top of that big task, he spent a lot of his time building reports about activities, trip budgeting, and vendor negotiations to make sure that the trips functioned successfully.
As it turns out, the problem of collecting and distributing data in remote environments isn’t just a tourism problem. Field operators – be it those in forestry, mining, agriculture, environmental engineering, or construction – run into similar problems each day.
Eskuad (pronounced E-Squad), looks to digitize this data collection process through its “self-serve” platform and mobile-based forms. As a no-code tool, field operators can load important maps and import data without worrying about internet service quality.
The platform helps “avoiding mistakes or errors” in the field since it eliminates the pen and paper transcription process that is still used by companies of all sizes.
The free version allows users to take pictures to be included in the form while the Pro version allows users to physically draw on top of the picture and include that image in the data.
Since launching the product last April, Eskuad has brought on well over 30 companies as customers.
Now you might be thinking: Why would a startup focused on field operations set up shop in the densely populated Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead? It is strategic, according to Echeverria. A large percentage of the US’s forestry operations is centered across the Southeast region, with Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina having some of the highest concentration of forest land acres in the country.
The Southeast is also home to some of the country’s largest seaports, which is another key customer base for the growing startup.
Adding Fuel To The Fire
Echeverria started his career in his home country of Chile, but he quickly embraced the startup community across the Southeast region of the US. He first got connected to the Atlanta startup community while working on his master’s at Chile’s Universidad de Concepción after he presented his thesis in 2015 at a conference in the city. Since then, he’s worked closely with the Georgia Tech community. He also participated in the TechDiversity Cohort out of Tampa Bay in 2020, a program from Tampa Bay Wave and supported by Nielsen Foundation.
He first heard about Atlanta Startup Battle, a yearly $100,000 startup pitch competition, through Hypepotamus, and he pitched on stage as part of the 2022 competition. While he did not win the top prize on stage, he met Blaine Davis, a partner at Outlander VC in Atlanta during the competition.
That introduction has proved fruitful. Today, Outlander VC announced it was leading Eskuad’s $1.65 million pre-seed round. Mis Inversiones, a Chilean Family office, Behind Genius Ventures, C2 Ventures, angel investors, and funding from several grants rounded out the pre-seed investment.
Eskuad has been busy recently launching a new forms library that helps with “sharing best practices between our community,” added Echeverria. He said that the fresh round of funding will go towards acquiring more customers and product-led growth strategies.
The team is currently 10 people working across South America and the United States.
Featured Photo: Founder and CEO Max Echeverria (from LinkedIn)