Computer vision startup alwaysAI raises $4M for IoT development platform

Computer vision startup alwaysAI has closed a $4 million Series A funding round, which it intends to use to broaden and commercialize its deep learning computer vision platform for embedded devices and expand its team to bring the platform to enterprise developers.

The funding round was led by BRV, with participation from co-founder and CEO Marty Beard, according to the announcement.

“Artificial Intelligence is clearly the next major technology wave; and deep learning computer vision, in particular, will unleash a huge array of new enterprise applications and customer value,” said Beard. “However, developing and deploying CV is highly complex and currently relegated to academics and specialists. alwaysAI will make it easy and affordable for the enterprise developer.”

Developers can use the alwaysAI platform to quickly develop and deploy applications for cameras, drones, wearables, robots and transportation units, through a simple and affordable subscription service, the company says. The service includes a catalogue of pre-trained deep learning CV models or support for the developer’s own model, a development virtual machine for application on ARM-based devices, simple APIs for facial recognition, object detection, classification and more, and a deployment process optimized for embedded devices which enables inference at the edge.

“We are thrilled to invest in the rapidly emerging world of deep learning computer vision,” said BRV co-founder and general partner John Malloy. “We see the tremendous potential in the enterprise and believe Marty and team have the vision, technology and deep enterprise experience to bring this potential to a broad base of developers across a wide variety of industries and applications.”

The company notes that there will be more than 22 billion IoT endpoints by 2024, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. Most of which will be ARM-based units with sensors and autonomous edge capabilities, which provides a major opportunity for computer vision.

Among other efforts to tap into that opportunity, Lucid and VIA Technologies launched a developer kit for 3D imaging in November, and NXP launched an edge intelligence software environment in October.

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