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Cyvl.ai is bringing data-driven solutions to transportation infrastructure

Cyvl.ai co-founder and CEO Daniel Pelaez needed a job the summer after finishing his freshman year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an engineering school in Worcester, Massachusetts. When he returned home and worked for the local public works department, he noticed there was little software for tracking road repairs. He was told to get out, drive around, identify problems and fix them.

“I was filling potholes, fixing signs, and cutting down trees. While I was there, I quickly saw first hand that they didn’t have any data,” Peleez told TechCrunch. He saw an opportunity, which eventually became Cyvl.ai, a company that helps municipalities and civil engineering companies introduce a digital layer to track the condition of transportation infrastructure.

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

“Our core vision and the reason we started the company in the first place is to help the world build and maintain better transportation infrastructure,” he said. This includes roads, highways, footpaths, airports and railways. Anyone from Boston certainly knows that the city needs a lot of help in this area.

What they are doing is using sensors to create digital twins of parts of infrastructure, such as roads, and then display weak links 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 artificial intelligence pipeline, he said.

“What we’re providing end users, whether it’s civil engineering companies or governments, is better transportation system data that they’ve never captured before and helping them become truly data-driven when building and maintaining these large-scale transportation system,” Peleez said.

He admits that selling to governments is not for the faint of heart, but the startup has found a way around the problems involved in dealing with municipalities. They understand that outside civil engineering firms are often responsible for conducting road surveys (or other traffic reviews) on behalf of cities or towns, and they have begun building channel relationships with them.

“Typically, we really just rely on them to communicate all the benefits of this technology to the government, showing them that they were collecting it manually before and we’re going to use this new technology to give them better data at the same cost Get better visuals and even cheaper than what was already proposed in the contract,” he said.

The approach appears to have worked with nearly 200 cities and towns using their software, generating nearly $2 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in just 2.5 years of operation. So partnerships with these companies appear to be paying dividends. He said the main competition so far has not been other companies doing similar things, but resistance to the shift from manual to digital processes.

The company, which has offices in Somerville, Mass., outside Boston, currently has 11 employees, but they are hiring and he hopes to have 20 employees by the end of the year. He said that as the son of immigrants who came to the United States from Colombia with nothing and worked his way through college, he especially recognized the need to build a diverse workforce and the value of hard work. .

The $6 million investment was led by Companyon Ventures, with participation from Argon 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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