Foresight Williams Technology leads the £1.7m super-seed round funding which will support further expansion of the business.
26 May 2022, London: Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, is pleased to announce a £1 million investment into dRISK (“the Company”), an autonomous vehicle (“AV”) testing and training company. The investment was led by Foresight Williams Technology (“FWT”), a joint venture between Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering (“WAE”).
Founded in 2014, by CEO Chess Stetson, dRISK is an AI company which promises to revolutionise AV efficiency and safety by training AVs to avoid unexpected real-world “edge case” scenarios. Collectively, edge cases account for most of the serious risk on the road but they are individually unlikely; making them hard to catalogue. AV developers are trying to overcome this by collecting data by driving multiple miles. It is estimated this approach will take decades before AVs become commercially viable.
dRISK’s solution exposes AVs to edge cases in a different way and in a fraction of the time. It assembles the evidence of what has caused accidents and near misses – both by human-driven vehicles and AV/Advanced Driver Assistance System or “ADAS” enabled vehicles – and reconstructs conditions in simulation with a combination of real and synthesized data.
dRISK‘s core technology – with four patents granted and two pending – uses networks of data to store, visualise, and classify “unknown unknowns” in a way that is optimised for AV training systems to absorb. dRISK’s statistical robustness and auditability has allowed it to win the largest grant from the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; enabling dRISK to build the ultimate driver’s test for self-driving cars. dRISK already counts multiple leading AV developers among its current customer base which is growing quickly.
Global design firm, Stantec, alongside previous investors – Okapi Venture Capital, Netsu Equity, SaaS Venture Capital, Poetic Partners and Mt. Wilson Ventures – participated in the round.
The global market for AI training data alone is currently valued at $1.5 billion. FWT’s investment will accelerate the development and growth of dRISK as a central technology for AVs.
Commenting on the investment, Hugh Minnock, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight, said: “Foresight Williams Technology is delighted to invest in dRISK, a hugely exciting company that will hasten the Autonomous Vehicle revolution and the decarbonised future we need to follow.”
Chess Stetson, Chief Executive of dRISK, added: “This investment will allow dRISK to accelerate our business plan and achieve our goal of introducing the dRISK product to the majority of the AV industry. And in turn, dramatically accelerate the development of safe and useable autonomous vehicles. We thank Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering for their support.”
Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures at WAE, commented: “dRISK’s proprietary technology has the potential to accelerate the development of automated driving control systems and overcome one of the main barriers to self-driving: the identification of edge cases. We are delighted that FWT has made this investment and we expect to leverage our knowledge of the automotive industry to increase uptake of dRISK’s technology.”