Mar 24, 2023 — interview

Meet Faces of RunwayFBU: Per Magne Helseth, Co-founder and CEO of Surfact

Per Magne Facesof Runway

Surfact is transforming cargo management through innovative asset tracking, sustainability, and circularity in logistics.

By Mari Wachelke

Per Magne Helseth, a husband, father of three, and marathonist, co-founded Surfact alongside Bjørnar Lie. This smart logistics startup is on a mission to revolutionize cargo management with an online asset tracking service.

The company has developed an airtag made from 100% recycled plastic, derived from Norwegian ocean waste, that tracks real-time temperature, position, and impact variation for cargo transportation. The client gets instant reporting via Surfact dashboard or get all data directly via API. That means the client can take action fast, for example, setting alarms if the temperature starts to change. The outcomes are many: supply chain optimization, resulting in significant waste reduction, cost savings, and positive environmental outcomes for its clients.

Right now, the team of 10 is focused on supporting the logistics starting off with two industries: pharmaceutics and restaurants. Both groups have high concerns on maintaining the quality of goods during transportation. Their first paid client is gigantic Havi Logistics, which has been delivering to McDonald's restaurants since 1974.

The airtag, resembling an ice hockey puck, is locally produced in Norway without lithium batteries. The electronic unit is manufactured by electronics producer Axxe, based in Halden, Østfold, which relies on leader of automation equipment INTEK for hands-free production. While for the puck itself, Surfact has joined forces with AION, a leading innovator in circular plastic solutions (and a spinoff of Aker BioMarine), to develop a fully circular data carrier box, designed to optimize supply chain and logistics processes while minimizing waste and environmental impact.

“It’s all about taking care of what we have”

This is Per Magne 4th rodeo as an entrepreneur. Previously, he co-founded Pembl, IrPa and Airtight – acquired by Airthings in 2020. Why Surfact now? “It’s a combination, both the opportunity and the technology are now right for this kind of product and also the circularity and all the pieces around the business model are right to introduce it to the market”, says the CEO.

His CV however, started far from the coffee machine and ping pong tables. He spent 11 years in the military in many different roles, including EOD operator and Engineer for Norwegian armed forces in Afghanistan. “They are different but they're quite alike. There is a group of people gathered somewhere to solve a mission or a task. And I believe it's the same thing when you start a business or you run a business, it's all about the challenges and to overcome that.”, concludes Per Magne.

Read more about Surfact here: and follow them on Linkedin page

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