Israeli startup AnyVision secured a $235 million Series C round yesterday. The investment was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Eldridge, with participation from existing investors. The round was raised almost a year after the last one, when the company refused to name any of the investors at the time. The company plans to use the capital to integrate SDKs and software onto edge-devices (e.g., smart cameras, bodycams, and even chips) to deliver superior video analytics and expand into new markets.
Recognize people anywhere
AnyVision develops AI-powered facial recognition technology that remains effective even in crowded areas. The company’s product suite includes facial, body, and object recognition that can turn any passive camera into an active one. AnyVision’s tech, called “Better Tomorrow”, analyzes and identifies people even after gaining or losing weight, wearing makeup or fake beards or glasses. Obviously, the company focuses mainly on the national security market. However, the company also helps prevent fraudulent cases in finance, pathology, and agriculture. The tech can be used as a replacement to passcodes and keycards, automatically opening doors based on facial recognition. The startup’s business model is focused on sales of its system, and subsequent subscription based service.
"The Access Point AI platform is designed to protect people, places, and privacy while simultaneously reducing costs, power, bandwidth, and operational complexity," said AnyVision’s CEO Avi Golan.
Both 2019 and 2020 were the opposite of boring for AnyVision, when in July of ‘19 TheMarker and NBC revealed that the company’s technology was being used to surveil and monitor the Palestinian population in the West Bank. Following the report, M12 -- Microsoft’s investment arm -- investigated the subject, and despite not finding conclusive evidence decided to renege on its decision to invest in the company and sold all of its holdings in the company.
The headlines continued to pop up, and in May 2020, Calcalist exposed that the company had allegedly let go dozens of employees and cut executive salaries. However, the company responded to the report, claiming that most of the employees who were sent on furloughs have been brought back to the office. Last September, AnyVision announced teaming up with REFAEL on a project for the military.
AnyVision was founded by Eylon Etshtein, a serial entrepreneur who sold his first company at the age of 24; Professor Shlomo Ben-Artzi, who serves as Chairman; and professor Niel Robertson, a world-renown machine-learning expert. The company has almost 300 employees, split between offices in Israel, Ireland, and the U.S.A.