To Help Grow Remote Visual Assistance Offerings, Birmingham’s Help Lightning Makes 1st Acquisition

While Help Lightning got its start in a neurosurgeon wing of an Alabama hospital, the startup has scaled quickly and found new unique use cases as more industries look for remote visual assistance options.

Gary York, Help Lightning CEO, told Hypepotamus that the University of Alabama at Birmingham neurosurgeon Dr. Bart Guthrie first came up with the idea out of necessity. “[Guthrie’s] day-to-day required prepping support staff, consulting on cases, collaborating with other physicians in surgery, and meeting with patients, oftentimes in other buildings, offices, and homes. Given the expense of healthcare, Dr. Guthrie needed innovation with minimal cost and the ability to be on location regardless of geographical location or time.”

That came in the form of an augmented reality-based video collaboration software that helps experts “work” alongside anyone from any location. On the product side, Help Lightning provides real-time video collaboration tools, live AR video support, and a visual support app.

That might look like a customer service representative “sitting” down with a customer instead of walking through a problem over the phone, or employees onboarding new hires during the onboarding process. 

Help Lightning has expanded to over 90 countries and 60,000 users, including large enterprises like Ricoh, DirecTV, Siemens Healthineers, BD, and Cox Communications. The collaboration-focused platform has helped the startup scale with healthcare, telecom, and third-party service providers. 

Gary York – from LinkedIn

Now, the Birmingham team is expanding with the acquisition of Fieldbit, an AR-focused real-time software built for hands-free field service collaboration. The acquisition, York added, is an “important step in fulfilling [Help Lightning’s] vision to provide instant access to expertise, delivering dramatic improvements in first-time fix rates, resolution times, and customer satisfaction.” 

Fieldbit focuses on expert-led and self-help solutions options in the remote collaboration space, with use cases in guided automation, augmented reality visualization and helping companies navigate realities around an aging workforce. 

The Fieldbit team is spread across the US, Israel, and Europe, according to LinkedIn. 

The Help Lightning team is currently around 40 employees, many of whom are in Birmingham. While the financials of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition continues York’s success in the B2B software space in the city. 

Help Lightning is York’s fifth successful B2B startup launched from Birmingham, a place York describes as  “a dynamic, high-energy tech scene with some great entrepreneurs and successful high-tech startups.” 

The team most recently closed $3 million in growth equity earlier this summer, which followed a $8 million Series A in 2020. 

Fieldbit is Help Lightning’s first acquisition.