UK-based SenSat has raised a $10 million Series A round to further develop its AI mapping technology with an eye on digitising new markets and promoting sustainability at the same time. The round was led by Tencent, with participation from Sistema Venture Capital.
The primary (or initial) market for SenSat’s Mapp® product is infrastructure, one of the least digitised sectors in the global economy. Inefficiencies in infrastructure not only hinder social function and economic growth, but also contribute to waste and environmental damage.
Harry Atkinson, co-founder and Chief Data Officer of SenSat explained: “Infrastructure is the only sector to have had a 0% net productivity increase since the 1960s, with a history of inefficiencies in doing business, contributing to a staggering 61% of total UK waste. The result is an estimated $5.2 trillion direct economic loss per year. Knowing this, we see a huge opportunity in allowing computers and AI to analyse the real world in order to help us grow more sustainably.”
Mapp® creates digital representations of real world locations (otherwise known as “digital twins”) and captures real-time data sets from a variety of sources. The result is an accurate, digital copy of the real world in a machine-readable format. By enabling offline industries to make smarter decisions and more accurate analysis, SenSat hopes to drive improvements in safety, cost-efficiency, waste generation, project collaboration, and carbon reduction.
“SenSat has a simple but profound goal: to build the third platform, an intelligent eco-system that translates the real world into a version understandable to AI. This technology will help us to build a more sustainable future, using the wealth of new insight to help humans make better decisions. Our plan is to first focus on perfecting our human controlled digital twin technology, so we can help to transform the way we deliver infrastructure,'' said James Dean, co-founder and CEO of SenSat.
In conjunction with the Murphy Group for the National Grid, SenSat digitised a 52 kilometer underground transmission line from the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm project. Time on site was reduced by 200%, and the company claims their less invasive methods greatly reduced the impact on local wildlife.
The new funding will go toward the company’s team, allowing SenSat to grow its London set of 30 experts to more than 90 over the next year, focusing on data scientists, mathematicians, software developers, and other creative problem solvers.