One of our core beliefs is that “If a machine can do it, a machine will do it”. All it takes is a human entrepreneur to invent a business model to make it feasible and desirable for customers to adopt. Smartvid.io is a testament to this belief in that the company harnesses the dual power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable jobsite cameras (fixed or mobile) to “see” and “understand” safety risks, predict and report accordingly. It was 2017, when Josh Kanner, Smartvid.io founder and CEO, first laid this vision for us and we knew we wanted to partner with him and his team to bring this model to the market.
Construction remains one of the most dangerous industries and this is reflected in the extremely high cost of insurance. For construction companies, insurance costs can equate to 4-6% of revenue, practically equivalent percentages to profits! And claims are frequent, messy, time consuming and expensive. Despite PPE, training, certifications, etc. accidents remain frequent, expensive, delay-inducing and, in many cases, catastrophic. It simply isn’t possible to have a safety inspector everywhere all the time. At least it wasn’t possible until Smartvid.io’s A.I., Vinnie could be deployed to the jobsite.
Over the past six years Smarvid.io’s Vinnie has been trained on millions of pictures and countless hours of construction site video to understand safety risks in virtually all conditions. With this unparalleled data set, Smartvid can predict when and why a site is likely to experience a safety incident up to a week in advance providing ample time to address and avoid costly incidents which could affect timeline and budget. As a result, the insurance industry has started to take notice. This summer, Smartvid.io announced a groundbreaking partnership with AXA-XL aimed at reducing the cost of construction insurance and reducing safety incidents. We believe this is just the beginning of a major shift in construction risk underwriting.
It is for this reason that we enthusiastically participated in the company’s most recent $5 million Series A2 led by IA Capital Group. IA Capital Group was formed to support the venture investing of 15 of the leading Insurance companies. We are thrilled that they share the company’s vision for how predictive analytics can impact construction risk.
It is a cornerstone of our investment strategy to be full lifecycle investors, and we have built our reserve philosophy around the expectation of participating in the future rounds of portfolio companies as our conviction increases. We deeply believe in supporting the entrepreneurs we back through every step of their journey and moreover think this is the best way to invest on behalf of our Limited Partners. In the optimal scenario this strategy can provide opportunity to increase our ownership in the best-performing companies as was the case with Smartvid.io.