Machines With Vision secures £2.6m investment led by Par Equity

Left to right are Shona Martin (Sensor Engineer), Tim Lukins (Co-founder and CTO), Anthony Ashbrook (Co-founder and CEO) and Wei Deng (Senior Software Engineer) of Machines With Vision (by Stewart Attwood)
  • Machines With Vision on hiring drive following investment round
  • Machines With Vision is a computer vision and geo-spatial mapping specialist startup that counts Network Rail and Deutsche Bahn among its customer base
  • Old College Capital and former Skyscanner chief Gareth Williams participated in the investment round

Machines With Vision, the computer vision and geo-spatial mapping specialist that counts Deutsche Bahn and Network Rail among its client base, has secured a £2.6m investment led by Par Equity. The funding will support ongoing product development, sales growth, and the planned hire of a number of engineers to work in research, product development and operations.  

The innovation underpinning the technology developed by Machines With Vision is the creation of a visual map of the ground surface captured by sensors installed on the underside of transport vehicles such as trains.  Combining an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled positioning sensor with a cloud-based processing platform and application programming interface (API), results in high quality geo-spatial data. Linking with sensors already on the train enables network operators to distinguish between suspected faults and actual defects, allowing predictive maintenance measures to be taken and enabling a more sustainable future in transportation. 

Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, former Skyscanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams, and Olaf Hesse, one of the company’s commercial team, are also participating in the round. 

Anthony Ashbrook, CEO, and co-founder of Machines With Vision, said: “We are at the forefront of using data to radically improve the efficiency of railways and on the back of this investment round, we’re excited to bring more people on board to deliver on this vision. Transport accounts for almost a quarter of global CO2 emissions, so moving travel by air and road to railways is essential for sustainability”

Aidan MacMillan, Senior Investment Manager, Par Equity said: “The fact that two of Europe’s largest railway infrastructure players are already using the technology developed by Machines With Vision gives you an idea of how far Anthony and his team have already progressed, and we are really pleased to be supporting the company through its next phase of growth and the commercial opportunities opening up for the business.” 

Machines With Vision’s technology can geo-locate infrastructure measurement data with better than 10cm accuracy rates, across the entirety of a railway network, including the areas where Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are poor or unavailable. The company calls this new capability Mobile Sensor Data Mapping and it has applications beyond railways. 

In 2018, the company began a two-year technology trial on Network Rail’s New Measurement Train (NMT) and in 2021, the company’s technology was procured for two new Network Rail diagnostic trains, with the fleet being further expanded in 2022. In 2019, Machines With Vision entered into a commercial contract with Deutsche Bahn’s diagnostic train division, Fahrwegmessung, to improve the quality of their geo-spatial data. 

Machines With Vision is one of the startup and scale-up technology companies featuring at Turing Fest’s Level Up career event for tech professionals, being held on Saturday 26th March at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh. 

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