Computer vision startup RoadBotics announced last week that it has secured a $7.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Radical Ventures, an AI-focused venture capital fund. This investment also saw participation from investors such as Hyperplane Venture Capital and Wharton Alumni Angels of Silicon Valley.
RoadBotics, which is standardizing road assessment through artificial intelligence, has gained 150 customers in 23 US states and 11 countries.
"This fresh capital, together with Radical's vast network and Artificial Intelligence domain expertise, will enable us to grow even faster, and ultimately to extend our reach into other vertical markets," said Mark DeSantis, Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. "No one understands the impact deep learning is and will have on the management of large-scale public infrastructure like the Radical team who previously built their own deep learning company. They share our vision of AI helping to create a safer, better future," he added.
"Maintaining roads has an enormous financial cost – hundreds of billions of dollars globally each year, mostly borne by governments and thus taxpayers. RoadBotics' simple-to-use computer vision system enables continuous, objective assessments that help prioritize what needs to be fixed."
"We're excited to be part of the RoadBotics journey," said Jordan Jacobs, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Radical Ventures’ $350 million fund dedicated to AI applications. "Maintaining roads has an enormous financial cost – hundreds of billions of dollars globally each year, mostly borne by governments and thus taxpayers. RoadBotics' simple-to-use computer vision system enables continuous, objective assessments that help prioritize what needs to be fixed."
Founded in late 2016, RoadBotics emerged from the research of Christoph Mertz, Chief Scientist at RoadBotics, a researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University Navigation Laboratory. The estimated 4 million miles of roads in the U.S. requires over $100 billion annually to maintain and even so, US roadways get a D grade from the American Society for Civil Engineers.
By using machine learning, RoadBotics’ technology enables governments to rate road conditions in an objective, cost-effective and time-efficient manner compared to traditional, manual inspections. Preventative maintenance through accurate and continuous information data is affordable now through deep learning.
"The new products we're building use data in ways not available to road managers until now," said Miguel Dickson, Director of Engineering at RoadBotics. "We're taking our value proposition — objective, easy-to-use, easy-to-explain automated assessment — and expanding on it. The new products we're introducing will continue to leverage AI and data science to make more road management tasks straight-forward and easily communicable to all the relevant stakeholders."