Hamburg-headquartered NATIX builds NATIX Network, a decentralised network of cameras creating a real-time map of cities. It snapped $3.5 million in seed funding led by Blockchange Ventures, a New York-based VC firm, which backed Virtualness and StoryCo.
The round also saw participation from strategic investors, including XYO, Mysterium Network, CVVC, Mulana Capital, and Blockarm Capital along with previous investors – Techstars, Plug and Play Ventures, and CoinIX Capital.
With this, the total funding raised by NATIX accounts for nearly $4.7 million. It will use the investment to launch its first mobile app, Drive&, grow the team and further develop the NATIX Network. The new funding also will be used to invest in developing the app and readying it for launch on Android with iOS coming soon. It will also be used to grow the team in areas such as tech, operations, marketing, business development, and sales.
In the future, NATIX eyes to expand beyond Drive& to other products that tap into the world’s 45 billion existing cameras, from drones to car cameras, to create the largest crowdsourced camera network ever.
Alireza Ghods, co-founder and CEO of NATIX, said: “We’re enabling citizens to play a part in improving their cities through their smartphones and get rewarded for it. In the future, cities and mobility companies will be able to use this data to transform their operations and improve existing infrastructure at a fraction of the cost. We’re excited about the potential of this technology to improve our world for the better and we’re delighted to have the support of our new and existing investors to make this a reality.”
Ken Seiff, Managing Partner at Blockchange Ventures, said: “We’re excited about the potential for companies like NATIX to use DePINs to reduce costs and hurdles associated with physical infrastructure. NATIX is making it easy and accessible to crowdsource critical geospatial data about roads and cities, just by using existing smartphone cameras. They can do this in a compliant and privacy-focused manner and make that data available to local governments and mobility companies with additional insights layered on top. We look forward to working closely with Alireza and the NATIX team to support them on this journey.”
AI-generated real-time map
NATIX was launched in 2020 by Alireza Ghods, Omid Mogharian, and Lorenz Muck with combined experience in IoT, AI, and product development. The 19-member team comprises 30% female members and over 9 different nationalities.
The company has built its proprietary AI technology that can make any camera smart and privacy compliant. This Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network (DePIN) of cameras uses NATIX’s AI technology to map the world. This technology allows any camera to scan its surroundings and detect events from the size of the crowd or the availability of parking spots. Protecting privacy, it prevents cameras from capturing personal data such as faces or license plates.
Drive& app: A drive-to-earn mobile app
The first product of NATIX Network is the Drive& app, which is a drive-to-earn mobile app. It can be installed on Android and iOS phones and start collecting geospatial data through the camera when drivers go about their journeys. The app is equipped with AI software, and can run on smartphones with minimal computational power.
Drivers need to do is position the phone on the dashboard with the app open and it begins collecting the data, including the volume of traffic on the road, objects such as traffic signs, and infrastructure damages such as potholes and faded road markings.
There are over 50,000 people on the waitlist for the Drive& app was launched on April 4 with a focus on creating digital real-time maps of cities across the world, including New York, LA, London, Dubai, and Jakarta.