AI FOR SOCIAL GOOD. PART 1: 5 AI STARTUPS PROTECTING PUBLIC SAFETY

Andrew Vasylyk

Founder of StartupSoft

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an increasingly powerful tool in addressing global challenges and promoting social good in today’s rapidly evolving world. A new wave of AI startups is meant not to create jokes and creative pics but to guard public safety and foster a more secure society.

This time we will explore five exceptional AI startups dedicated to positively impacting the world by enhancing safety, security, and overall well-being for communities around the globe.

1. ZEROEYES

Company’s website: https://zeroeyes.com/

Co-Founder & COO: Rob Huberty

CEO & Co-Founder: Mike Lahiff

Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer: Sam Alaimo

CTO: Tim Sulzer

Lead Investors: The U.S. Air ForceAFWERXOctave Ventures LLCGrateful Ventures

Total funding amount: $29.1M

ZeroEyes was founded in 2018 by former Navy SEALs, Special Operations military veterans, and technologists.

The company develops AI gun detection and situational awareness technology to prevent mass shootings and gun-related violence. The software integrates into existing digital security cameras and sends alerts when the gun is verified and detected within 3-5 seconds.

ZeroEye’s primary market and goal were to prevent school mass shootings. Due to the pandemic, while everybody was studying from home, the company temporarily pivoted to other target audiences such as retail locations, corporate campuses, government campuses, malls, and casinos. That move allowed them to expand the customer base and raise new investments in 2022 for its scaling.

ZeroEyes’ world-class and military veteran-led management team has a deep understanding of the security and technology markets. With this investment, the company is positioned to continue its market leadership,” Kim said. “This isn’t only about AI technology to detect weapons — it is about making a significant impact to help save lives.

Michael Kim

founder of Octave Ventures, one of the leading investors of ZeroEyes

WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST ABOUT IT:

  • ZeroEyes received the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation and engaged in a strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • ZeroEyes’s solution is considered a “promising anti-terrorism technology” with a bold and life-changing goal to stop school shootings and save lives.

2. SIREN

Company’s website: https://siren.io/

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer: Dr. Renaud Delbru

CEO: John Randles

Lead Investors: European Investment BankAtlantic BridgeAtlantic Bridge University Fund   

Total funding amount: $27.5M

As a startup, Siren was based at Ireland University in 2010 but became a functioning product company in 2016. It developed a complete cybersecurity search platform to investigate risks, threats, and crimes.

Today Siren provides an intelligent platform that helps investigators do complicated searches, arrange the findings in an easy-to-see way, and make detailed reports to share with their coworkers. Also, businesses use this technology to keep their stuff and computer systems safe from scams and online dangers.

In Feb 2023, there appeared news that Siren raised €12m in a funding round from the European Investment Bank (EIB). With new investment resources, the company plans to boost its development at the new R&D center and expand its team by 50%.

The €12m backing for Siren will enhance analysis and investigation of data to combat human trafficking, strengthen law enforcement and tackle fraud.

Kris Peeters

Vice President, EIB

It’s a real milestone that Siren has been endorsed by the European Investment Bank and we are very grateful. For a company at Siren’s stage of growth, access to funding of this magnitude will fuel our rapid expansion plans and allow us to provide many more organizations with access to our unique technology.

John Randles

CEO, Siren

WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST ABOUT IT:

Siren’s technology organizes and speeds up crime investigations. For example, it helped the crime division of the national police to analyze a large amount of various data such as location, email communication, and messages to make work easier for the investigation team and help them find patterns they haven’t noticed before.

3. URBINT

Company’s website: https://www.urbint.com/

Co-Founder & CEO: Corey Capasso

Co-Founder & SVP, Business Operations: Josh Troy

Co-Founder: Ryan Schmukler

Chief Technology Officer: Luke Surazski

Lead Investors: Energize VenturesBlue Bear CapitalPiva CapitalEnergy Impact Partners

Total funding amount: $109M

The AI-powered Urbint platform’s mission is to “stop accidents before they happen with AI.” The technology predicts threats to workers and critical infrastructure by evaluating risk levels and recommending intervention if it’s high.

Thanks to the merging of real-world data and artificial intelligence, it’s possible to predict incidents threatening infrastructure, workers, the community, and the environment up to a week in advance and act before the incident occurs.

In 2021, Urbint raised a $60M Series C investment round from the leading investor Energize Ventures and other participants. These resources will help Urbint scale its technology and create new solutions for the incident prevention software.

Today’s critical infrastructure owners and operators are facing new challenges as aging assets and climate change threats create a more complex operating environment. Electric utilities in the U.S. alone spend more than $15 billion annually on operations and maintenance. Urbint’s next-generation risk management software helps customers identify and prioritize safety and reliability threats, in turn lowering O&M costs, reducing emissions, and improving worker safety—all while ensuring critical infrastructure stays online.

Tyler Lancaster

Principal at Energize Ventures

WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST ABOUT IT:

Urbint’s scaling strategy is built around aggressive M&A deals. In 2019, the company acquired Opvantek, a provider of risk-based asset management solutions for gas, electric, and telecommunications utilities.

Later, in 2022, Urbint acquired iRestore, the no-code mobile workforce management platform serving energy utilities. The combined impact of the two technologies will bring infrastructure risk management to a whole new level.

4. ACTUATE

Company’s website: https://actuate.ai/

Co-Founder & CEO: Sonny Tai

CTO & & CPO: Ben Ziomek

Lead Investors: Tribeca Venture PartnersBling CapitalEmergent Ventures

Total funding amount: $13.3M

Founded in 2018, a New York-based company Actuate creates software that turns security cameras into smart cameras with gun threats and intruders detection. The technology is built on computer vision software and artificial intelligence that allow automatic recognition and real-time notification alerts for police.

Actuate’s Chief Product Officer, Ben Ziomek, says their solution is entirely AI-based: “Our AI solution lets us achieve more than 99% accuracy in detecting weapons with a meager false-positive rate.”

This year Actuate partnered with Alibi Security, which provides security technology, cloud solutions, and growth enablement services for security dealers & integrators. Together they developed the Alibi Hybrid Cloud that will provide Cloud Storage and AI Analytics for traditional video cameras.

We are extremely excited about our partnership with Alibi Security. AI Analytics has the potential of delivering so much value, across so many industries – but true adoption requires the channel. Alibi is clearly committed to both educating and enabling their Dealer Partners, and provides a real path to growth for all of us.

Sonny Tai

Co-Founder & CEO of Actuate

WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST ABOUT IT:

One of the most incredible things about Actuate’s software is that it can be easily integrated into existing systems without requiring additional hardware, on-site installation, or other physical considerations.

5. NAUTO

Company’s website: https://www.nauto.com/

CEO & Founder: Stefan Heck

Lead Investors: GreylockSoftBank Vision FundGeneral Motors VenturesPlayground Global

Total funding amount: $173.9M

The company was founded by Dr. Stefan Heck, an expert in technology and transportation, in 2015. Nauto is focused on developing AI and computer vision technology for the automotive industry.

Nauto primarily works with commercial fleets, offering its AI-powered technology to improve safety, efficiency, and performance. The company’s platform  enables driver and fleet safety by predicting, preventing, and reducing high-risk events in the mobility ecosystem.

Nauto’s intelligent driver safety system aims to minimize distractions and avert accidents by evaluating driver interactions with their vehicles and the road environment. Nauto then utilizes this valuable insight to advance self-driving technology, incorporating the finest aspects of human driving into autonomous systems.

Over the years, Nauto has attracted significant investment from venture capital firms, strategic partners, and automotive manufacturers, including SoftBank, Greylock Partners, BMW iVentures, and General Motors Ventures.

These investments have helped fuel the company’s growth, expand its product offerings, and forge partnerships with leading automakers and fleet operators.

WHAT WE LIKE THE MOST ABOUT IT:

The company’s customers see up to an 80% reduction in distracted driving, collisions, and losses.

Nauto projects implementing its system can reduce losses for a fleet, amounting to approximately $2,500 per truck each year.

PART 2 IS COMING!

We found so many notable AI startups that work on bringing tangible social impact to our day-to-day lives! Next time we will discuss social AI startups but in other areas, so stay tuned and don't hesitate to contact us if you are from one of such tech companies or if you want to hire top talents and teams for it.