Why We Invested in Matroid

October 2020

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Energize Ventures is thrilled to lead the $20M Series B investment in Matroid, a category leader in computer vision software. Existing investors NEA and Intel Capital also participated in the round. Energize Managing Partner John Tough joins Matroid founder and CEO Reza Zadeh along with existing board member Pete Sonsini on the company’s board.

Matroid’s platform makes it simple for enterprises to rapidly deploy computer vision solutions to help automate the process of analyzing imagery data. In a “drag-and-drop” fashion, the software enables domain experts to train machine learning-based detectors that can automatically analyze vast visual data sets, eliminating the need for a data scientist.

Computer vision: why now

Why is now the time for enterprise computer vision? Computer vision software can now analyze data more accurately than humans, with accuracy rates topping 99 percent across a multitude of use cases and tasks. Cost declines for drones, industrial cameras and cloud computing are making it economic to capture and store large volumes of imagery data for security, monitoring, quality control and other inspection workflows. Unburdening employees from low-value manual tasks that are well-suited to computer vision automation unlocks their capacity for higher-value work. Sustained technological advances combined with an increasingly digitized world make the return on investment for computer vision compelling today.

Unlocking value in energy and industry

In energy and heavy industry, the physical world is increasingly documented by drones, cameras, satellites and other remote sensing technologies, creating a new bottleneck in analyzing the volume of imagery. Currently, many firms turn to teams of overly-qualified technicians and engineers to manually review troves of images — which is not only inefficient and costly, but also non-scalable and oftentimes inaccurate.

Computer vision is primed to dramatically improve efficiency and safety in these verticals. All energy and industrial companies perform inspections of their infrastructure, plants and equipment on a regular basis to conduct preventative maintenance and pre-empt failure. For example, wind farm operators typically inspect each wind turbine once every three years to identify cracks, lightning strikes, corrosion and other defects that might cause failure. Worker safety and compliance are also core principles for firms operating in dangerous environments. Computer vision can help ensure workers are wearing protective safety gear or identify dangerous gas or chemical spills invisible to the human eye.

Matroid: Making computer vision simple and accessible to everyone

CEO Reza Zadeh launched Matroid in 2016, applying decades of research on computer vision and machine learning approaches to deliver a simple and intuitive solution for enterprises. Reza and the Matroid team recognized early on that typically only internal experts at a company possess the knowledge required to create, tag and deploy well-functioning computer vision solutions. However, most firms lack the experience and/or resources in data science and machine learning to integrate computer vision into their operations in a scalable, repeatable manner. To make better use of their imagery data, they needed a better computer vision tool. Enter Matroid.

An award-winning team obsessed with customer needs

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Today, Matroid serves customers across manufacturing, energy, government, retail and security by helping reduce operating costs and increasing efficiency, safety and regulatory compliance. Its growing team of nearly 20 software engineers and data scientists draws from leading machine learning institutions such as Stanford, Carnegie Melon and MIT. In 2019, the company was named a “Cool Vendor” in AI Core Technologies by Gartner. Matroid currently partners with corporates such as Dell, HP Inc. and Eagle Eye Security to offer a fully integrated solution across vision hardware, compute, networking and Matroid’s software.

Energize believes computer vision will play a central role in harnessing the expertise of engineers and operators to digitize inspection, compliance and safety, quality assurance, construction and more. With the Series B investment, Matroid will continue developing its enterprise computer vision product features, expand sales, marketing and customer success, and double down on industry-leading research in applied machine learning. We are excited to help Reza and the broader Matroid team build the future of computer vision!

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