Ann Arbor-Based AI For Video Company Voxel51 Secures $2 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 13, 2019
  • Voxel51 — an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based AI startup that is revolutionizing video understanding — announced it raised $2 million in seed funding from eLab Ventures

Voxel51 — an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based AI startup that is revolutionizing video understanding with a solution that helps users unlock valuable intelligence from videos to make real-time data-driven decisions — announced that it closed $2 million in seed funding from eLab Ventures. Plus the company also announced that it launched its video understanding platform for automotive, smart city, and security applications.

In many cases, AI solutions used for analyzing video are designed for processing static images — which makes it difficult to classify behaviors and actions such as walking or running. Voxel51’s solution is uniquely built to process videos and its computer vision and deep learning models automatically identify and classify actions in video scenes and can comprehend activities and patterns with incredible accuracy. And the scalable platform enables customers with large video datasets to search for specific objects, actions, behaviors, and to automatically tag and integrate detected content into their workflows and human-decision making processes.

“While advancements in AI and computer vision have enabled near-human object detection in images, video comprehension is still in its infancy,” said Voxel51 co-founder and CEO and University of Michigan professor Dr. Jason Corso. “We are already delivering human-level results, and this funding allows us to push the envelope even further. We will continue to execute on our vision to solve the complexities of video understanding and to improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of large scale video processing and analysis.”

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Ever since Voxel51 was founded in 2015, it completed a number of successful pilots in the automotive, smart city, and security spaces. And Voxel51 has also recently concluded a $1.25 million grant awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop video analytics for public safety bringing the total investment to $3.25 million.

Dr. Corso had founded Voxel51 with his colleague at U of M, Dr. Brian Moore — who serves as CTO of the company. Dr. Moore had actually taken Dr. Corso’s computer vision class and this led to the conceptualization of the idea for Voxel51.

eLab Ventures is a Silicon Valley and Michigan-based early stage venture capital fund that has experience in building and investing in disruptive technology fueling the rise of autonomous and connected vehicles. The eLab Ventures team — which includes Rick Bolander (Managing Director), Paul Brown (Managing Director), Scott Chou (Managing Director), Doug Neal (Managing Director), and Bob Stefanski (Managing Director) — has over 125 years of combined experience as highly successful technology entrepreneurs, VCs, and operating execs. And the venture firm has deep connections with both the University of Michigan and Silicon Valley.