Remote training and support tech created by surgeon raises $8m

17 Aug 2020

Image: Help Lightning

Help Lightning’s technology aims to provide real-time support between experts and technicians through augmented reality.

Now that remote working has become the norm for many, businesses will likely begin to rely more on remote training and support tools to onboard staff and keep them in the loop.

With demand for this kind of technology increasing, Alabama-based start-up Help Lightning has announced an $8m Series A funding round led by Resolve Growth Partners for its remote training and support platform.

Help Lightning has developed what it describes as “virtual expertise software”, which enables remote training in a variety of industries. The platform combines its software with industry-specific knowledge and a partnership approach to help enterprises remotely support customers and train or upskill employees.

The company was founded in 2016 by Bart Guthrie, a neurosurgeon at the University of Alabama who wanted to create telepresence technologies to remotely assist with surgeries, according to TechCrunch. The company is now led by CEO Gary York, who described the technology to TechCrunch as “a video call on steroids”.

This technology works on any Android or iOS device to provide augmented-reality video support to blend two real-time video streams – one from a remote expert and another from an on-site technician.

The funding

With the fresh funding, Help Lightning plans to scale its business and fuel enterprise virtual expertise innovations with the aim of improving field service organisations and call centre first-time fix rates.

The company said that this can extend workforce capacity and improve customer satisfaction for its client companies, which include Siemens Healthineers and Cox Communications.

“Help Lightning’s virtual expertise software plays a vital role in bringing technical expertise to settings where it’s most urgently needed,” York said. “We’ve seen an extraordinary spike in demand during Covid-19 as technicians are not able to physically get to locations where their expertise is required.

“We expect the demand for virtual support to only accelerate post Covid-19 and welcome the support of Resolve Growth Partners as we aggressively scale the business.”

Cox Communications, which is one of the largest cable television providers in the US, is using Help Lightning’s on-site virtual assistant technology to help customers fix technical issues remotely without having to have a technician enter their home.

With Siemens Healthineers, Help Lightning is helping service experts supporting medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, advanced therapies and other solutions for healthcare providers. Using existing mobile devices, Help Lightning allows equipment experts to virtually collaborate with on-site technicians.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic