Bengaluru and San Diego-based Netradyne, an artificial intelligence startup that focuses on the driver and commercial fleet safety, has raised $21 Mn in a Series B round of funding.
The funding round was led by Microsoft’s corporate venture arm M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and saw participation from Point72 Venture and existing investor Reliance Industries. M12 will join the company board and “bring additional resources and expertise focused on scaling the company”, according to a company statement.
Earlier this week, Reliance Industries had disclosed that it had invested $8 Mn in Netradyne and now owns around 37.4% stake in the startup. It had earlier invested $16 Mn into the company in June 2016.
Plans In Focus: 3D mapping, Driveri™, & More
The company plans to use the funds raised to make a sizable investment in the application of AI and deep learning in new industry segments. This includes areas like:
- Dynamic 3D/HD Mapping: Provides real-time, crowdsourced, high definition (HD) maps using commercially deployed Driveri™ devices. HD Maps enable improved transportation data analytics and autonomous vehicle research and development.
- Data Analytics: Gives real-time insight into numerous aspects of driving, including road conditions, driver behaviors, unique driving scenarios, seasonal and weather-specific considerations, traffic patterns and concentrated geographic risk areas.
- Insurance: Transforms analyzed data into comprehensive offerings insurance companies can use to underwrite and analyze professional drivers across the country.
Apart from this, Netradyne will utilise this latest round of funding to expand the team that has created early success for its product, Driveri™.
Driveri™ is a vision-based driver recognition and fleet safety platform that captures and analyzes every minute of every driving experience, providing commercial fleet managers with insights into positive driving and identifying opportunities for individual coaching. The net result is reduced driving incidents, more awareness around risk and ability to reward positive driving; all of which improves driver retention.
Samir Kumar, managing director at M12 believes that Netradyne’s Driveri system uses deep learning and computer vision at the edge, enabling rich contextual insights that help fleets establish safe driving practices.
Sri Chandrasekar, Partner at Point72 Ventures further believes that the customer momentum Netradyne has generated over the last year speaks volumes about their AI team and the innovative products they continue to develop.
“Reliance is committed to fostering an ecosystem by investing ahead and in enabling intelligent connectivity solutions for the future of hyperconnectivity. The follow-up funding underscores our commitment to Netradyne’s engineering talent working on cutting edge technologies in the fields of AI and Machine Learning,” said Mathew Oommen, President Technology, Networks at RJIL, Reliance’s digital communications and services venture.
AI has been the new cool recently. In a recent study by Accenture, it was revealed that AI could add $957 Bn to the Indian economy or increase the country’s income by 15% by 2035. Further, with tech companies around the world looking to find solutions for traffic congestion, managing pollution and even build an effective infrastructure for driverless vehicles, AI has been gaining importance.
Recently, the reports also surfaced that Delhi Police’s “intelligent traffic management system” (ITMS) — that proposes to use artificial intelligence to manage traffic and an array of sensors to detect violators — is finally expected to become a reality with the home ministry giving approval for appointment of an international consultant for the job.