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Pre-seed equity investment boost for AI software firm | Wales Deals News



A Cardiff-based AI software company has secured a £780,000 pre-seed equity investment which will be used to support its growth plans.

Route Konnect specializes in video analytics which capture anonymously connected, multi-camera, vehicle and people movement insights across any defined space, town or city, abolishing the need for controversial facial recognition technology.

Led by the Development Bank of Wales, the investment round will support Route Konnect’s growth ambitions by doubling the team with key technical and business operations hires to bring the platform to market.

Based on The Tramshed, Route Konnect has been set-up by chief executive Mohamed Binesmael, software engineer Matteo De Rosa and chief technology officer Daniel Harborne, a software engineer who previously worked for Amazon.

The founders met when studying at Cardiff University in 2016 and have now secured their first pre-seed equity investment led by the Development Bank of Wales’ Technology Seed Fund. There is additional investment from proptech VC Pi Labs, early-stage investors SFC Capital and private angel investors with the backing of Plug and Play, who were early investors in Dropbox and PayPal.

Mohamed Binesmael said: “Our platform captures accurate, intelligent, real-time insights into the movement of people and vehicles – without infringing on individual privacy – to enable better, more efficient traffic management, place-making and urban planning across towns and cities globally.” .

“From reducing wait times at traffic lights and easing congestion for emergency services access, to improving customer experiences at stadiums and retail outlets, the application of accurate and anonymous movement insights has universal potential.”

Matthew Wilde of the Development Bank of Wales tech ventures team added: “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: “The future of transport and mobility is intrinsically linked to how the built environment is evolving, with AI solutions becoming an essential tool in response to emissions regulations and congestion issues.

“Additionally, Route Konnect’s platform goes even further than just transportation and can better inform developers, contractors and asset managers about the flow of people around their properties.”

Since its launch, Route Konnect has spent over a year in research and development, including taking part in the Dubai Future Accelerators Programme, where the team was able to help the Dubai Police to explore options to improve emergency response times with smarty city solutions.

Meanwhile, a trial is currently underway with Cardiff City Council on the introduction of smart corridors to ease traffic congestion, and as a result, Route Konnect was 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.

Route Konnect has also secured a £100,000 grant from Zenzic and been selected for its CAM scale-up programme. During the coming months, Route Konnect will be developing its technology at the Midlands Future Mobility test environment for autonomous vehicles and the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London as well as Horiba Mira, an automotive engineering and development consultancy and test site in Nuneaton.

GS Verde advised on the deal.

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