Cyvl.ai brings data-driven solutions to transport infrastructure | Tech Crunch

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The summer after his freshman year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an engineering school in Worcester, Massachusetts, Daniel Pelage, co-founder and CEO of Cyvl.ai, needed a job. He went home and worked at his local public works department, where he found there was little software to track road repairs. He was told to go out, roam around and find problems and solve them.

“I was digging potholes, putting up signs and cutting trees. During my time there, I saw firsthand that they had no data on anything,” Pelage told TechCrunch. He eventually saw an opportunity to become Cyvl.ai, a company that helps municipalities and civil engineering firms bring a digital layer to track the conditions of transportation infrastructure.

Today the Boston-area startup announced a $6 million investment.

“Our main focus and why we started the company in the first place is to help build and maintain better transportation infrastructure for the entire world,” he said. It covers roads, highways, sidewalks, airports and rail. Anyone from Boston knows for sure that this is an area where the city could use a lot of help.

What they're doing is using sensors that can create a digital twin of a piece of infrastructure, such as a road, and then show where the weaknesses are and predict when a repair event is likely to occur. They do this using LiDAR, cameras and sensors and combine it with their own data analytics and geospatial AI pipeline, he said.

“We're giving our end users, whether it's civil engineering firms or governments, better data on their transportation systems than they've ever captured before and helping them become truly data-driven when it comes to building and managing these. scale transportation systems,” says Pelage.

Selling to governments isn't for the faint of heart, he admits, but the startup has found a way around the problems dealing with municipalities. They learned that external civil engineering firms are often responsible for doing road surveys (or other transportation reviews) on behalf of a city or town, and they began partnering with them in a channel type relationship.

“Often, we really rely on them to convey to the government all the benefits of this technology, show them that they were collecting manually before, and we're going to use this new technology to give them better data and better visuals at the same price, if not less, than what's already proposed in the contract,” he said.

The approach appears to be generating nearly $2 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in just 2.5 years of operation with nearly 200 cities and towns using their software. So partnerships with these organizations seem to be paying dividends. He says the main competition so far has been resistance to moving from manual processes to digital, not other companies doing the same.

The company has an office in Somerville, MA, outside of Boston, and currently has 11 employees, but they are hiring and he hopes to have 20 by the end of the year. As the son of an immigrant who came to the US from Colombia with nothing and managed to work his way through college, he is uniquely aware of the need and value of hard work to build a diverse workforce. .

Company Ventures led the $6 million investment in partnership with Organ Ventures, AeroX Ventures and Alumni Ventures. Existing investors MassVentures, Launch Capital and Riverpark Ventures also participated in the round. The company has raised a total of $10 million.



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