Early this spring, we closed our fully subscribed pre-seed round of equity financing from a group of local investors. This funding gives us the opportunity to continue working with our clients to optimize the oilfield waste management space in spite of the industry downturn.
Completing this funding provides an opportunity for me to reflect on the combined effort of our team and community, our experience as a startup in the oil and gas ecosystem and my perspective on our company and the industry.
This journey started a few years ago as a sales person, visiting friends’ offices and asking them how they made their disposal decisions. It became glaringly obvious that it was hard to make a good disposal decision. At the time, I worked for a waste disposal company and I couldn’t even give insights into real time capacities or wait times at my own facilities. It’s a long standing joke, but seriously, that our best sales person was a hot dog machine that attracted truckers to line-ups at our facilities, generally around lunchtime. And when operators are spending $40 billion annually on waste disposal and trucking across North America that’s a considerable amount of money being incentivized by hot dogs.
These inefficiencies became even more apparent when I left the disposal company to join an oilfield transportation company. I got to see first hand how we dispatched loads and executed on decisions made around this complicated and ever changing waste disposal market. This gave me a great opportunity to ride around with the team, test my assumptions and dig deep into the problems. Getting this exposure to the business process and workflows of producers across western Canada made it clear that something had to be done.
It’s a long and winding story but eventually we moved from napkin to web app and built a tool to help optimize the waste disposal and transportation business. I have an incredible team of people to thank as it took more than a few pep talks, ass kicks and coaching sessions. Most importantly though, I wouldn’t be here without our team. We are all so different yet share the vision that fuels the passion. At the core we all believe we can make a difference in improving the health of our industry and environment through optimization and automation.
We also need to thank the community. Calgary is home to one of the most vibrant group of entrepreneurs and they gave us a seat at the table. It might sound weird but we want to thank the plus 15 network too. We have this rare opportunity in Calgary to bump into thousands of people sometimes daily. It’s those connections that have driven most of our client and investor meetings, it’s where we’ve shared ideas over coffee and words of encouragement from passersby.
Finally, our special thanks to our investors, who not only brought capital but also their networks and gave us critical advice on how to run a business and manage in such a volatile industry. To have a group of people who call frequently and ask “How can I help?” is truly one of the most important things to an entrepreneur; I’m also committed to “paying it forward”.
Our industry has been through the ringer. In Canada specifically, we’ve had our backs against the wall for a lot longer than the recent COVID demand disruption. I believe this will give us the edge, as “steel sharpens steel”. Our balance sheets are better, our operations will be more efficient and our environmental performance is the absolute best in the entire world. Technologies like ours were forged during a recession which makes only the strongest value propositions survive. I believe Canada is capable of producing some of the lowest cost and most environmentally conscious production on the planet. I believe we have an obligation to the world to provide some of the cleanest natural resource based energy and also share our wisdom and technology with the world so they can follow suit.
We’ve focused our core value propositions into three clear drivers:
- To save operators money through optimized and automated disposal decision making
- To allow operators to increase revenue by marketing their underutilized disposal capacity to other producers
- Lower environmental impacts, primarily GHG emissions, by leveraging full market data to optimize transportation
At Galatea, we see a future in which waste disposal decisions are automated and optimized allowing producers to focus on finding and developing world leading energy assets.