Using artificial intelligence to scan construction-site photos and video to spot issues that can affect performance, quality and safety, a tech startup has landed a strategic investor with millions of such images that can be used to improve the technology. Under the agreement, the startup reserves its right to continue integrating its tool with the products of other developers.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Newmetrix is getting a $7-million cash infusion from its existing investors as well as Autodesk Inc.; Borealis Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on technology for construction; and another venture capital firm, Castor Ventures. The deal also gives the company, whose service already is integrated with Autodesk BIM360 Field, the ability to use Autodesk’s trove of construction images for improving its image recognition technology.
“Strategic investors can bring not only money. They also can bring data to the play,” says Josh Kanner, founder and CEO of Newmetrix. “There are millions of photos in the Autodesk BIM 360 platform that can be analyzed using deep learning,” a form of artificial intelligence.
Kanner should know. One of his prior startups, Vella Systems, was purchased by Autodesk in 2012 and rebranded BIM360 Field.