Tel Aviv-based Industrial AI startup Seebo Interactive Ltd. announced Tuesday it has raised $9 million in a series B round led by Israel-based Ofek Ventures.
Vertex Ventures and existing investors TPY Capital and Viola Ventures also participated in the round, which brought Seebo’s total funding raised to date to $31 million.
Founded in 2012 by brothers Lior and Liran Akavia, Seebo develops cloud-based software that allows industrial manufacturers to quickly and cost-effectively turn existing machinery into smart connected systems that report their health and usage data. The company counts Nestlé, Barilla, PepsiCo Inc., Mondelez International Inc., Israeli food processing company Tnuva, and Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) among its clients.
Seebo first started developing tools for consumer IoT systems before realizing the sector was headed in a different direction than it had anticipated, CEO Lior Akavia said in a phone interview with Calcalist. Three years ago, the company identified a need in the industrial sector, he said, leading it to adjust its workforce, both in terms of the kind of employees it needed and in terms of numbers. According to him, the company now has 35 employees, compared to 50, before the pivot.
Even before the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, Akavia said, Seebo worked remotely, as its system requires no physical installation at the factory. “Some employees come to the office every day while others don’t come in at all,” he said. “We have a flexible policy and, fortunately, our productivity hasn’t suffered, especially since the education system resumed functioning.”
“Consumer habits have changed significantly in recent times with food, pharmaceuticals, and cleaning products being in the highest demand, creating challenges for manufacturers,” he said.
The crisis forced many manufacturers to change the way they work relying more on local supplies, Akavia said. They also need solutions to optimize their remote working processes and smart technologies are enjoying accelerated adoption at this time, he added.
The company intends to use the funding to expand its activity in Europe and North America and for further development efforts.
“Over the past few years, Seebo has cemented itself as a leader in the fields of predictive quality and industrial artificial intelligence, with a growing roster of tier-1 manufacturers,” Ofek Ventures Partner Itay Rand said in a statement. “Manufacturers today understand that, in order to compete successfully, they must adopt effective process optimization capabilities, and there is a clear recognition that industrial artificial intelligence and a data-driven approach are fundamental to achieving that goal,” he added.
Seebo Investment “Ofek Ventures” IoT