An AI startup that has created image recognition tools for businesses has secured £2.2m in funding.
London-based Captur has built a platform that lets businesses use a smartphone camera for bespoke image recognition applications in sectors including logistics, transportation and automotive.
One such example is a delivery driver using a smartphone camera to verify that a package is at the right address. Captur claims this can reduce fraud by up to 40%.
Captur counts dockless bicycle hire company HumanForest, micromobility company Dott, and vehicle financing company Moove among its customers.
The seed funding round, shared exclusively with UKTN, was led by Sure Valley Ventures.
It brings Captur’s total funds raised to £3.5m and will be used by the startup to scale its technology across new sectors, including retail.
Existing investors MMC Ventures and Ascension Ventures provided additional capital. Operator angel investors also participated in the round, along with Concept Ventures and Two Culture Capital, backers of ElevenLabs and Electric AI.
So far, Captur’s technology has mainly been used in the micromobility space. It has partnered with rapid delivery startup Zapp in London to let fleet riders track the condition of vehicles by scanning QR codes on assets. This replaced manually logging the condition on spreadsheets.
Captur currently operates across Europe and plans to launch in the US early next year.
The startup was founded by Charlotte Bax in 2020 and incubated by Google for Startups, where Bax took part in the Female Founder Resident programme.
“In the delivery sector alone, companies can spend up to $20m per year on refunds and customer support, in addition to a frustrating experience for their customers,” said Bax, who is Captur’s CEO.
“We look forward to improving profitability and driving growth in the delivery sector with AI image recognition, and to use visual AI to build trust in the modern economy.”
Captur’s technology uses edge AI, which is when the artificial intelligence computations are done close to where the data is located – in this case on a smartphone – as opposed to via the cloud.
Because data is analysed locally, it can perform actions faster than if they took place in a faraway data centre.
Businesses can upload their own image data to train the system, pick a template set of rules for their application and use “drag and drop” to customise it. Captur claims it can recognise images within three seconds.
Isabelle O’Keeffe, partner at Sure Valley Ventures, said: “Captur’s innovative edge technology using visual AI has significant potential to transform the efficiency and profitability of businesses across multiple sectors and the market opportunity and demand for the product is great.
“At Sure Valley we focus on investing in businesses with strong founding teams and proprietary technology which have global impact, all of which Captur epitomises.”