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Detect Technologies gets $12 million funding from Accel, others

Bengaluru: Industrial AI startup Detect Technologies has raised $12 million in a funding round led by US venture capital firm , as it looks to grow its presence in markets such as North America, Middle East and Southeast Asia driven by rising demand for automation on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The round also saw participation of Stride Ventures, and existing investors Elevation Capital, Bharat Innovation Fund, BlueHill Capital and Axilor Ventures.

IIT Madras-incubated startup said it will utilise the capital to expand sales and operations teams in the six overseas geographies it entered over the last year, including Europe and South America, apart from investing in research and development for new products in areas such as undersea industrial maintenance.

“Despite initiatives towards industrial automation and digitization, large conglomerates have seen limited success in generating tangible value on site,” said Daniel Raj David, co-founder and chief executive at Detect Technologies. “Industrial processes today are siloed and need significant human intervention, which is subject to error.”

“The pandemic accelerated the adoption of automation, leading to large-scale disruption in industrial technology,” David added.

Detect Technologies has three broad products in the market: its ultrasonic sensor Gumps, a drone-based visual monitoring system Noctua, and a platform to automate management of projects—from planning to execution—and monitoring safety and resource allocation.

It has adopted a hardware plus software-as-a-service model, allowing it to patent its technologies, building defensibility, while also offering a seamless experience to customers that use its service. It currently holds four patents for the technologies it has developed, with a further 12 that are awaiting approval.

The company says it works with over 45 customers, including Shell,

, ExxonMobil, Adani Group and , with its solution having been implemented in over 100 sites globally. It currently works at five sites each in North America and Southeast Asia, with the majority of customers being in India.

It services industries including oil and gas, petrochemicals, construction, steel, metals, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, power, renewables, and cement, helping customers improve productivity through real-time equipment and plant monitoring that can decrease failure and increase life of assets.

“The industrial sector loses millions globally in revenue due to unplanned shutdowns, a result of lack of intelligent real-time data and insights to aid decision making,” said Barath Shankar Subramanian, partner at Accel. “Detect is operating in this $50 billion+ market opportunity of industrial automation and real-time analytics to increase visibility over operations, the health of equipment, and the safety of workers.”

Detect Technologies currently has over 150 employees—largely based in India—but will look to expand that to around 250 by next year. While the company plans to hire sales and operational teams in its international markets, it is also looking to bulk up its senior management and hire more research and product folks in India.

The company had previously raised funding of around $3.3 million in its Series A round led by SAIF Partners in November 2019. The round had also seen participation from Bharat Innovation Fund, Axilor Ventures, BlueHill Capital and a few angel funds from the Keiretsu Forum.

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