Sequoia Capital India Infuses $8.5 M In Video Telematics Startup LightMetrics

With this fundraise, LightMetrics will focus on strengthening various teams to set the stage for future growth. This includes engineering, customer success, product, marketing, sales and analytics

On a mission to make roads safer for everyone everywhere, LightMetrics, a video telematics startup serving commercial vehicle fleets globally, has raised USD 8.5 million in a Series A funding round from Sequoia Capital India. Their solution uses edge AI and analyses video feeds from the camera installed in vehicles to better understand driver behaviour, and reduce accidents and improve safety.

With this fundraise, LightMetrics will focus on strengthening various teams to set the stage for future growth. This includes engineering, customer success, product, marketing, sales and analytics. The company will continue to invest in cutting-edge AI technologies, new products and solutions to strengthen their offerings and deliver more value to fleets across their operations. The funds raised will also be used to explore adjacent opportunities like auto insurance.

LightMetrics was founded in 2015 by Soumik Ukil, Ravi Shenoy, Mithun Uliyar, Gururaj Putraya, Pushkar Patwardhan and Krishna A.G. The six-member founding team had worked together at Nokia Research on computer vision and ML for cameras. While advancing the tech in consumer photography for smartphones was exciting, they wanted to do something more impactful with their expertise in computer vision and AI.

The automotive industry, and commercial fleets in particular presented a huge opportunity. Owning and operating trucks has to be profitable but they grapple with problems like fraudulent lawsuits, increasing accidents, risk of nuclear verdicts, lack of visibility into (increasing) risky driving behaviour (speeding, hard braking, drowsiness, distracted driving, etc.), mounting insurance costs, hiring and retaining drivers, rising fuel costs, etc, which significantly impacts their bottom line.

Video telematics promises to be the panacea for these problems with benefits like driver exoneration in accidents, providing visibility into risky driving, driver coaching to reduce risk and recognizing good driver behaviour. The need of the hour is to increase market adoption massively across the world. To make that possible, LightMetrics provides an easy to integrate video telematics platform with the industry’s most efficient AI on the edge - allowing fleets to gain visibility into several risky driving behaviours based on real time analysis of road and driver facing cameras. Having true edge AI with in-cab coaching helps prevent incidents vs reacting after-the-fact. The data aggregated from all vehicles in the fleet is presented in the form of useful insights with intuitive workflows to manage the fleet from a safety and driver behaviour perspective.

“This investment by Sequoia Capital India is a testament to the fact that we are building the preeminent video-based fleet safety platform globally. We will invest deeply in building the most advanced and efficient edge AI, empowering our customer base to deliver this critical technology across the entire fleet ecosystem, and expanding our international footprint.” Soumik Ukil, CEO & Co-founder, LightMetrics

The benefits of video telematics enabled by LightMetrics include -

❖ On-demand video that shows what exactly happened in the case of a dispute

❖ In-cabin coaching that alerts drivers in real time upon detection of risky driving, averting accidents

❖ Visibility into risky driving behaviours so that fleets can take remedial action - this includes listing drivers who need coaching and for what behaviours they need to be coached

❖ Driver coaching workflows that make it easy for self coaching

With improved safety and reduced risk, fleets have a solid ROI through reduced total cost of ownership.

“Video telematics is the fastest growing segment of the telematics industry. Lightmetrics’ ability to deploy advanced computer vision models on the edge, across a range of dash cameras, enables it to serve all vehicle types in this large market. At Sequoia Capital India, we expect advancements in AI to transform several industries and are excited to partner with Lightmetrics on their quest to improve road safety,” Ashish Agrawal, MD, Sequoia India.

LightMetrics has also taken a differentiated go-to-market approach. It does not sell to fleets directly and instead works with telematics service providers and fleet management companies who integrate the solution into their offerings for fleets and upsell. This ensures that fleets get a deeply integrated product which has all the insights they need about their business in one place, avoiding fragmentation and providing more value. Partners who work with LightMetrics can either use APIs to build their own UI or use the rebranded portal.

The company does not sell cameras and is hardware agnostic. It works with camera manufacturers offering customers and partners a choice of cameras across price points and capabilities. No matter the hardware, fleet customers have an identical UI/UX through a common backend. Thus, LightMetrics’ customers and partners can tailor solutions for specific customer segments and geographies easily with minimal complexity in engineering or product at their end.

LightMetrics is deployed by over 2500 fleets across India, Middle East, US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and South Africa. Fleets using LightMetrics’ powered video telematics have seen risky driving such as speeding and distracted driving drop by up to 80% and 70% respectively in just a few months of onboarding – showing how a combination of in-cab coaching and offline coaching can reduce risk for fleets in a significant manner.

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