April 1, 2023

  • Irish startup Protex AI has raised $18 million in Series A funding.
  • Protex uses computer vision to predict potential hazards on construction sites and warehouses.
  • Check out the 14 slides it used to raise funds below.

A startup that uses computer vision to help keep people safe at work has raised $18 million in new funding.

Dublin-based Protex AI was founded in 2020 by CEO Dan Hobbs and CTO Ciarán O’Mara to make warehouses and construction sites safer through its AI platform, before potential risks escalate into more serious problems find them.

Hobbs said safety procedures at such sites are often carried out in a “super reactive” manual fashion, resulting in hazards and other problems only being discovered after someone is injured or caught in an accident.

“What we do at Protex is we look at the actions that cause those accidents to happen much more than the actual accident itself, and prevent those things from happening, rather than actually waiting for the accident to happen in the first place,” Hobbs said.

To achieve this, Protex’s AI platform (currently used by companies such as UK retailer Marks & Spencer) is embedded into the site’s existing CCTV network, turning cameras into smart machines that can detect dangerous risks and inform security teams. Send out a warning.

“The bottom line is that we’re not dealing with decoupage here,” Hobbs said. “It’s like someone gets hit by a forklift, or if someone gets crushed by something like a container, they die.”

Hobbs added that companies that choose to pay annually for their software have the option of customizing the platform to detect potential causes of incidents specific to their site.

The startup, which participated in Y-Combinator’s summer program in 2021, raised $18 million in a Series A round led by Notion Capital and secured funding from Firstminute Capital and strategic backers such as SoftBank-backed logistics business Flexport additional funds.

The use of artificial intelligence in computer vision has increased in recent years, with everyone from sports to the automotive industry looking to explore the technology’s potential applications.

Some concerns have been raised about the risks to privacy posed by AI-based computer vision. Hobbs noted that Europe’s GDPR rules have made maintaining privacy a hot topic in European industry. Protex describes its system as “protecting privacy”.

Check out the 14-slide Protex AI platform used to raise funds:

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