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Sony’s Innovation Fund makes investment in Newmetrix (formerly Smartvid.io), it's first in the AEC industry

Sony Innovation Fund (SIF)Last month, we announced that we’d raised $5 million in new financing. I’m happy to say that we have since added an additional investor: Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), the venture capital investment arm of the entertainment and technology giant. SIF joins IA Capital Group, which primarily invests in insurtech and fintech companies, to lead the new funding.

Now that might, at first, seem like an odd pairing. What could bring a consumer technology giant and an insurtech fund together to put money into a constructech company? The answer is actually pretty simple: our innovative and disruptive technology saves lives by reducing reportable incidents on job sites, which, as a result, saves money for both construction and insurance companies. In other words, Newmetrix’s AI-powered platform is valuable to stakeholders outside of the construction industry, because the benefits we provide have an impact that extends well beyond the jobsite.

You can read more about how Newmetrix can help construction organizations negotiate a better insurance rate in this blog post from Tim Gattie, our VP of Industry Strategy. And if you’d like to know more about why IA Capital Group found our story compelling, you can read more about that here.

As for specific interest in Newmetrix, here’s what Gen Tsuchikawa, Chief Investment Manager at Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), and CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Innovation Growth Ventures (IGV) had to say: “Newmetrix has demonstrated strong commercial traction both with top-tier construction companies in the US, EU and Japan, as well as insurance carriers. By harnessing a very concrete and pragmatic use of machine vision in an industry vertical that is still analog and fragmented, Newmetrix provides a cutting-edge example of how advanced technologies can be applied to solve difficult problems, while still blending into the existing work process. This investment marks our very first investment in the AEC space and we couldn’t be more excited to have expanded our industrial portfolio with Newmetrix.”

If you’re reading our blog, you probably know our story. But in a nutshell, Newmetrix's AI, which we’ve nicknamed Vinnie, analyzes jobsite images to identify construction safety hazards, including those related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, such as a lack of masks, gloves and social distancing. By combining these findings with observational data from people on jobsites, Vinnie can enable predictive-based safety. We’ve demonstrated that Vinnie can predict which sites are most likely to suffer an incident within the next week to 85% accuracy (a stat that’s improving all the time) so safety officers can provide additional resources and training to stop accidents before they occur.

The impact we’ve had on construction safety has been profound. Suffolk reduced recordable incidents by 28% and lost time by 35% over 12 months through a safety program that incorporated Newmetrix. And Warfel Construction was, for a while, the only construction company allowed to operate in a large Pennsylvania county because it was able to use Newmetrix data to demonstrate strong COVID-19 safety adherence.

These investments from SIF and IA Capital are a strong validation of our platform and its ability to ensure more workers go home safe every evening, which, in turn, helps construction companies negotiate better insurance rates while reducing payouts for insurers. And we’re looking forward to deploying this new capital to expand our footprint across the USA and continue innovating with our platform.

If you’d like to learn how Newmetrix can help your firm reduce recordable incidents and negotiate better insurance rates, get in touch. We’d love to set you up with a free trial.

Written by Josh Kanner

Josh Kanner has been involved in enterprise-focused software startups since 2000 with a focus in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry since 2005.

Most recently he was co-founder of Vela Systems, a pioneer in the use of web and tablet workflows for construction and capital projects. There he led the company’s product, marketing, and business development functions. Vela Systems grew from bootstrapped beginnings to include over 50% of the ENR Top Contractors as customers and deployments all over the globe. The company was successfully acquired by Autodesk in 2012 and has been rebranded as BIM 360 Field.

Prior to founding Vela Systems, Josh was responsible for product management and strategy at Emptoris (now part of IBM), a web-based strategic sourcing software company with customers including Motorola, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, and American Express.

Kanner graduated from Brown University and earned an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He still gets excited to put on a hard hat and walk a job.

View more posts by Josh Kanner.

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