Announcing Seed Investment in Augary
Computer Vision Technology Saves Lives Through Safer Roads
We are pleased to announce our seed investment in Augary, a company that saves lives by using computer vision and artificial intelligence to help fleets drive more safely while capturing valuable visual information about the world. The company's software uses smart phone cameras to help drivers detect common driving hazards including following distance, inadvertent lane changing, and exceeding posted speed limits. Vision-based safety is an effective way to detect risky driving behaviors and help prevent motor vehicle accidents, which cause 1.3M fatalities around the world each year. Augary's "WAZE plus vision" platform provides free safety analytics software to fleets while capturing valuable real-time road information - such as prohibited turns, gas prices, and parking availability - that is sold to navigation companies.
For us it's all about team, market, and impact, and all three are wrapped up nicely in the Augary package. The trio of Dima Kislovskiy, Jie Zou, and Lucian Ionita brings an impressive mix of computer vision, software engineering, and machine learning expertise. Meanwhile, we see big opportunity in the rapidly growing connected-car/infotainment market, which is projected to reach close to $100B by 2018 and boasts some recent blockbuster exits including Google's $1.1B acquisition of WAZE and Mobileye's $890M IPO. Augary is well positioned in this market with vehicle intelligence technology that provides risk mitigation and insurance value to fleets, delivery vehicles, and ride sharing companies (e.g. Uber and Lyft) while delivering valuable real-time road information to navigation companies. Lastly, the company fits nicely into our Better Information investment theme as it leverages cloud-based data analytics and ubiquitous connectivity to produce a positive societal outcome, in this case saving hundreds or even thousands of lives per year.
We've been working closely with the Augary team on a number of fronts since we invested, including customer development and investor introductions to help close out their seed round by the end of the year. The company is making good progress and will have a beta product in the market this month. Please feel free to reach out if you'd like to learn more about Augary or the status of their seed round. We're also happy to discuss Better Ventures Fund II with you and our plans for a second close prior to year end. If you would like more timely updates on Better Ventures, please follow us on Twitter and AngelList.