Route Konnect, a Cardiff-based AI software company, has picked up $1 million in a pre-seed equity investment round, which was led by the Development Bank of Wales’ Technology Seed Fund. also, additional investment came from proptech VC Pi Labs, early-stage investors SFC Capital and private angel investors with the backing of Plug and Play, the early investors in Dropbox and PayPal.
The financing round will support Route Konnect’s growth ambitions by letting it double the team with a focus on the business operations and technical hires. Also, it plans to bring the platform to market. The company will be developing its technology at the Midlands Future Mobility test environment for autonomous vehicles and the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London, and Horiba Mira, an automotive engineering and development consultancy and test site in Nuneaton.
Co-founder and managing director Mohamed Binesmael said: “We are thrilled to secure the backing of this incredible line-up of investors, enabling 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 under our belts, we’re ready to accelerate on our ambitions to change the way the world understands people and vehicle behaviour and use intelligent data to save time, and resources and reduce the impact on the planet.”
Matthew Wilde of the Development Bank of Wales tech ventures team said: “Route Konnect has built upon recently published techniques to innovate away the need for facial recognition for multi-camera movement analytics. This capability unlocks powerful insights about the movement across an entire location, without infringing on privacy.
Hugo Silva, Senior Investment Manager at Pi Labs, said: “Our investment in the company aligns with our conviction to back the most innovative start-ups that are accelerating the trend towards smart cities and urban sustainability. Having invited them to be a part of our 2022 Growth Programme, we are beyond excited to back Mohamed, Daniel and Matteo and our team is committed to helping them scale further and see Route Konnect’s solution deployed widely across global cities.”
‘Google Analytics’ of physical spaces
Based in The Tramshed, Route Konnect was established by Mohamed Binesmael, Matteo De Rosa and Daniel Harborne. They met when studying at Cardiff University in 2016. Described as the ‘Google Analytics’ of physical spaces, it is the first video analytics company that anonymously captures connected, multi-camera, vehicle and people movement insights across any defined space, town or city. With highly accurate, real-time data collected by smart road IoT sensor solutions, it enables more efficient traffic management, place-making and urban planning for smart cities and the management of places.
This solution developed by Route Konnect uses a number of heuristics that allow for robust matching of paths travelled by the same person or vehicle across multiple-cameras views. All heuristics used are free from identifiable features are much less powerful than facial recognition technology. When combined, these heuristics provide clues as to which path seen in one camera can be paired with a path from another camera. In testing, these have shown an accuracy rate of 98%.
Achievements by Route Konnect
Since its launch, Route Konnect has spent over a year in research and development, including taking part in the Dubai Future Accelerators Programme. During this programme, the team helped the Dubai Police to explore options to improve emergency response times with smart city solutions.
Currently, it is running a trial with Cardiff City Council on the introduction of smart corridors to ease traffic congestion. It has been selected as one of 11 Welsh businesses to take part in cohort two of Transport for Wales’ Lab Accelerator programme. A pilot trial will soon commence to help identify opportunities to reduce dwell time at platforms and better manage crowd control at special events.