After selling Vela Systems to Autodesk in 2012, Cambridge entrepreneur Josh Kanner is accepting money from the computer-aided design giant once again. Except this time, Autodesk is using its cash to invest in Kanner’s new startup.
Autodesk is among several investors in a new $7 million Series A round for Smartvid.io, whose photo and video management software is used to help improve the management of construction sites and other industrial settings. The round, which was announced on Thursday, was also backed by two other new investors, Borealis Ventures and Castor Ventures, as well as existing investors like Converge, Launchpad Venture Group and Stage 1 Ventures.
In an interview with BostInno, Kanner said Smartvid.io’s platform analyzes photos and videos of industrial sites using deep learning algorithms to help companies make safety, product and quality improvements. The deep learning algorithms are used to apply “smart tags” to each photo and video as an easier way to categorize them, which can then be used to detect, for instance, whether or not construction workers are wearing safety equipment, among other indicators of risk.
“There’s a huge opportunity to improve productivity and make construction safer by applying automation,” Kanner said.
Smartvid.io also lets companies track progress at industrial sites through video and voice annotation. In a video from last fall, Kanner said a customer told him the platform is like “YouTube meets Google Photos for construction.”
Kanner said the startup has around 10 customers, including Suffolk Construction and Skanska, and the new funding will be used to work on product development and build out its API platform.