FREMONT, CA: Ravin.ai, the U.K. and Israel-based startup advancing in AI to autonomously examine vehicles for damage, has closed a $4 million seed round. The asset management was led by Pico Venture Partners, with involvement from Shell Ventures and a famous “automotive entrepreneur”. The initiative was Shell Ventures’ first Israel investment.
Founded in 2018 and situated in London and Haifa, Ravin unites computer vision and deep learning to distinguish and analyze damage in vehicles via standard cameras, such as a smartphone or CCTV. The startup has been primarily targeting car rental companies but also looking forward to other markets for its technological investments, including fleet organizations within the shared mobility space.
There is always some uneasiness associated with true car condition, and Ravin’s mission is to produce meticulousness around damage wherever vehicles operate or change hands. Breakage in vehicles is a colossal problem and for the consumer, because nobody is sure if the car picked up for rental, or the one just bought, has some hidden damage. The problem only intensifies as more vehicles are shared, and vehicles are purchased online.
In comparison, Ravin provides the required transparency to assist easier transactions, delivered via an “objective” vehicle condition report generated through the startup’s AI using ready-made cameras. Vehicles can be inspected via a mobile phone walk-around (analogous to a panoramic view occurrence) or by driving past a set of CCTV cameras. From the inspection point, a 360-degree view of the vehicle is generated, and damages are inspected. The implementation of frictionless rental and the sharing of vehicles helps in minimizing unnecessary arguments as both sides know about the automobile condition.
Furthermore, Ravin wants to provide an experience, where people can hand over cars in confidence, which is really what the sharing economy is all about. The company has also mentioned that it has commercial partners across the U.S. and Europe, where it plans in using the new funding to widen its technology products further and expand its market reach across North America, Asia, and Europe.