EyeVi Technologies to rewrite the road maintenance playbook after $2m investment
EyeVi Technologies, an AI-driven mapping technology start-up, has raised €1.8 million in a seed round led by ff Venture Capital, with the participation of RKKVC, Decacorn Capital, Iron Wolf Capital, Superangel, Spring Capital, Kaamos Group, and several Estonian business angels including Väino Kaldoja, the founder of AuveTech, and Taavi Rõivas, the former prime minister of Estonia.
EyeVi, which already operates in six European countries, will use the funds to deepen existing operations and establish new operations in the US market.
Every year, nations spend billions to maintain road networks. However, all over the world, a backlog of road maintenance is piling up. The status quo creates a vicious cycle where low budgets tend to push away preventative maintenance in favour of more urgent repairs, which leads further to small problems getting ignored until they become big problems.
Technology can help, but modern hardware is prohibitively expensive and difficult to assemble and software solutions are neither agile nor nimble. As a result, road surveying and maintenance assessments remain a time and labour-intensive process, often executed by on-the-ground experts travelling many miles.
EyeVi aims to bring infrastructure maintenance into the modern era. The start-up provides mobile mapping and geospatial data processing in the form of SaaS, using artificial intelligence to streamline and automate many of the processes.
EyeVi’s SaaS model charges customers based on the number of kilometres analysed, and, should the customer require it, the company is able to ship a low-cost and easy-to-install hardware solution anywhere in the world. If the customer is already in possession of mobile mapping equipment, EyeVi’s platform is sensor-agostic, which means it can process data streams from many different sources.
This saves a tremendous amount of time and money; America’s current backlog of road repairs is estimated to cost around $435 billion, and EyeVi estimates that it saves 50% over any conventional systems.
“Road surveying technologies used today are either outdated or prohibitively expensive, which means that preventative maintenance is out of reach for most vendors. Governments across the world are facing massive backlogs in road maintenance works, and with advanced geospatial mapping and predictive data analytics, we can create the perfect conditions for smarter budget allocation,” says Gaspar Anton, the company’s founder and CEO.
“What we’re doing here is leveraging the power of artificial intelligence for a very real-world application and introducing a flexible and cost-effective hardware solution that together will help unlock better insights to solve the issue of road maintenance in a much more effective way,” he continued.
Anton spent more than a decade in executive positions at Reach-U, Estonia’s pioneer in GIS services. Together with several other current members of Eyevi’s team, Anton was also heavily involved in Google Street View’s mapping of the Baltics. The predictive analytics solutions that EyeVi uses were developed together with Tallinn Technical University, with close to €1.8 million in grants spent on R&D. The company already works with road survey and consulting companies in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland and the UK.
Currently, the main customers of EyeVi solutions are road surveying companies and consultancies. Whereas the market potential for road maintenance is gigantic but plateaued, the emerging market of digital twins is smaller but forecast to grow rapidly.
As the autonomous vehicle industry grows, EyeVi also expects to capture significant market share in providing cost-efficient and highly accurate digital twins of road systems.
“We are confident in EyeVi’s ability to scale their services across the globe, as their solution hits the sweet spot of being both easy-to-use and actionable. As virtually every city and country in the world would benefit from more efficient road maintenance, the potential for growth is truly immense.
“In addition, EyeVi is setting the foundations for a future in which autonomous vehicles will be able to benefit from every single bit of road analysed,” said Maciej Skarul, Partner at ffVC.