BMW i Ventures announced today their lead investment in a $10M Series A round for Alitheon, an Optical AI technology company. The company’s FeaturePrint® technology quickly and easily digitizes physical objects for irrefutable identification, authentication, and tracing, and eliminates misidentification and misuse of items. BMW i Ventures previously invested in the company’s seed round and is co-leading this round of investment alongside Imagine Ventures, a Seattle-based venture capital firm.
Counterfeits are a $2.3 trillion annual problem that continues to grow globally. By using additive and antiquated solutions, such as stickers, barcodes and QR codes, to identify items, companies place themselves at high risk of losing traceability and facing counterfeits. Alitheon’s patented FeaturePrint technology creates for items what fingerprints are for people – an one of a kind, unique identifier that does not require any changes to the item. By capturing an item’s image with a standard off-the-shelf camera, the FeaturePrint Optical AI “sees” and renders minuscule surface details of the item into its own unique profile. As a result, this enables effective identification of the item among millions like it, ensuring product authenticity and provenance.
“The counterfeit crisis is a major cause of concern – not only for economic reasons, but even more as individual safety is concerned,” said Marcus Behrendt, Managing Partner at BMW i Ventures. “Alitheon’s cutting-edge technology and ability to bring trust and safety back to supply chains is groundbreaking. After participating in Alitheon’s Seed Funding, we’ve watched the growth of the team and the rising potential of its technology, and are excited to lead its Series A as they bring their product to market.”
Alitheon designed FeaturePrint to be easy to use, which does not require any special hardware investment, change to the manufacturing line, or physical change to the item. Using just a standard camera, FeaturePrint enables irrefutable authentication, identification, and traceability of individual items. By implementing FeaturePrint, counterfeits can be avoided, part misidentification is eliminated, and the wrong product use is minimized. FeaturePrint is the missing link connecting the digital and physical worlds.
At the beginning of this year, Alitheon named Roei Ganzarski as its new CEO. Roei is a seasoned technology leader who previously served as CEO of magniX and Executive Chairman of Eviation, two disruptive companies in the aerospace and transportation industries.
“BMW i Ventures’ confidence and continued growing investment in Alitheon highlights the need across industries for a solution that reduces both bodily harm and financial risk, by reducing the use of counterfeits, and stopping the misuse of critical parts due to human error,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of Alitheon. “This investment round supports our ability to scale and meet significant demand, and having BMW i Ventures in our corner makes this evermore significant.”
Alitheon is solving identification, authentication, and traceability challenges across multiple industries, including automotive, aerospace, collectibles, industrial manufacturing, luxury goods, medical and precious metals. Its technology is already being used by multiple customers and has been integrated into global operations. With the new capital, Alitheon aims to invest in new talent and accelerate its sales and marketing efforts to fuel its expansion of its FeaturePrint technology across more industries.
SOURCE: BMW Group