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Route Konnect Secures £ 780,000 Pre-Seed Investment Led by Development Bank of Wales – UK Technology Investment News

“Google Analytics” of physical spaces tracks anonymous movement data in real time

The new technical hires will double the team, accelerating the development of the AI ​​platform

Development Bank of Wales leads preliminary round for Cardiff Uni alum trio

A pre-seed equity investment of £ 780,000 (US $ 1 million) in Cardiff’s artificial intelligence software company Route Konnect is set to revolutionize the way the world understands the movement of people and vehicles by abolishing the need for a controversial facial recognition technology, in a deal recommended by the GS Verde Group. Led by the Development Bank of Wales, the investment round will support Route Konnect’s growth ambitions by doubling down on the team with hiring of key technical and commercial operations in order to bring the platform to market.

Described as the “Google Analytics” of physical spaces, Route Konnect is the first video analytics company capable of anonymously capturing insights into the movements of connected, multi-camera vehicles and people in any defined space, city or town. Highly accurate, real-time data provides true end-to-end travel understanding, enabling more efficient traffic management, location creation and urban planning for smart cities and location management.

Headquartered in The Tramshed, the company was founded by CEO Mohamed Binesmael, software engineer Matteo De Rosa, and Chief Technology Officer Daniel Harborne, a software engineer who previously worked for Amazon. The founders met while studying at Cardiff University in 2016 and have now secured their first pre-seed equity investment led by the Development Bank of Wales’ Technology Seed Fund with additional investment from proptech VC Pi Labs, investors early stage SFC Capital and private angel investors with the support of Plug and Play, who were the first investors in Dropbox and PayPal.

Co-founder and CEO Mohamed Binesmael said: “Our platform acquires accurate, intelligent and real-time information on the movement of people and vehicles, without violating individual privacy, to enable better and more efficient traffic management, location creation and urban planning in countries and cities globally. . From reducing waiting times at traffic lights and easing congestion for access to emergency services, to improving the customer experience in stadiums and retail outlets, applying detailed, anonymous movement information has potential universal.

“We are thrilled to secure the support of this incredible investor training, which allows us to double the size of our team with new technical and operational hires, including machine learning and video analytics specialists. With so much research and development already behind us, we are ready to accelerate our ambitions to change the way the world understands people and vehicle behavior and use intelligent data to save time, resources and reduce the impact on the planet. “.

Matthew Wilde of the Development Bank of Wales technology initiatives team said: “Route Konnect drew on recently published techniques to innovate by eliminating the need for facial recognition for multi-camera motion analysis. This feature unlocks powerful motion information in an entire location, without violating privacy.

“It is an ethical solution that addresses a large gap in the market with growing public safety concerns, growing traffic congestion problems, growing government initiatives for effective traffic management, increasing adoption of eco-friendly automotive technologies and development of smart cities around the world. Even better, it was developed right here in Cardiff by a young and ambitious team, so it was an unmissable opportunity for us as early stage technology investors. “

[For tech and real estate media] Pi Labs Senior Investment Manager Hugo Silva said: “The future of transport and mobility is intrinsically linked to the evolution of the built environment, with AI solutions becoming an essential tool in response to emissions regulations and congestion problems. Additionally, Route Konnect’s platform goes beyond just transportation and can better inform developers, contractors and wealth managers about the flow of people around their properties. Our investment in the company is in line with our belief in supporting the most innovative start-ups that are accelerating the trend towards smart cities and urban sustainability. After inviting them to be part of our 2022 growth program, we are overly excited to support Mohamed, Daniel and Matteo and our team is committed to helping them grow further and see Route Konnect’s solution implemented widely in global cities. “

The solution developed by Route Konnect uses a series of heuristics that allow a solid correspondence of the paths traveled by the same person or vehicle through multiple views. All the heuristics used are devoid of identifiable features and therefore, on their own, are much less powerful than facial recognition technology. However, when combined, these heuristics each provide clues as to which path seen in one camera can be coupled with a path from another camera. The tests showed an accuracy rate of 98%.

Binesmael comments:There is a growing legal push back in the UK and the EU against the use of facial recognition technology, and the GDPR is adding to the challenges. Existing vehicle and transportation analytics platforms use facial recognition technology or process camera data at individual locations in isolation, providing overly simplified vehicle counts or data that has been aggregated. Route Konnect offers the accuracy of an “all-out” approach, making critical data available to traffic managers, property owners and investors and urban planners to consider the entire end-to-end customer journey to improve social impact , environmental and economic. “

Since its launch, Route Konnect has spent over a year on research and development, including participation in the Dubai Future Accelerators Program, where the team was able to help Dubai Police explore options for improving emergency response times. with smarty solutions for the city. Meanwhile, a trial is underway with Cardiff City Council on introducing smart corridors to relieve traffic congestion and as a result Route Konnect has been selected as one of 11 Welsh companies to take part in cohort two of Transport for Wales’ Lab Accelerator program. A pilot will soon begin to help identify opportunities to reduce the time spent on platforms and better manage crowd control at special events.

Route Konnect has also secured a grant of £ 100,000 from Zanzic and has been selected for its scale-up CAM program which offers unique access to the UK’s leading test beds. In the coming months, Route Konnect will develop its technology at the Midlands Future Mobility Autonomous Vehicle Test Environment and Smart Mobility Living Lab in London, as well as Horiba Mira, an automotive engineering and development test and consulting site in Nuneaton.

GS Green recommended the deal.

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Route Konnect Secures £ 780,000 Pre-Seed Investment Led by Development Bank of Wales – UK Technology Investment News

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