July 27, 2022

Our investment in Drover: Scaling Micromobility using AI and Computer Vision

Despite rapid growth before the pandemic and an enormous rebound thereafter, micromobility still faces several structural challenges.  While cities are keen to offer environmentally friendly transportation options, they also want to make riding e-scooters and other shared vehicles safer and their deployment more manageable.  Operators who want to be compliant with regulations, also want to find ways to improve service profitability.  To address these issues and unlock more rapid and sustainable growth, Alex, Christian, Jamie and Max created Drover AI and the technology necessary to tackle some of the industry’s main pain points.

Vektor Partners is excited to lead Drover AI’s Series A investment round with follow-on participation from Seed investors including Avesta Fund, Masik Enterprises and Kurt Jaggers, and to join existing investors such as 500 Global.  With the new funding, Drover AI will scale up its innovative solutions and accelerate the global roll-out of its product.  Vektor Partners is proud to accompany the Drover AI team on their growth journey.

We first got to know Drover AI in 2020.  Despite the pandemic, we maintained a regular dialogue and managed to meet on both sides of the Atlantic, allowing us to learn more about the team’s vision and culture over time.  Since then, the Company has delivered on its roadmap, further honed its technology, and tailored the product to the market’s needs.  The team particularly impressed us with their background as past micromobility operators, with a clear understanding of the industry’s profit drivers and how to apply their technology to reliably reduce costs and enable regulatory compliance.  It came as no surprise that within a short period of time Drover AI was able to win several large initial customers. Today more than 5,000 units are deployed across its partners including Spin (owned by Tier), Voi, Bolt, Beam, Dott or Helbiz.

Drover AI’s PathPilot can easily be retrofitted to any vehicle, or pre-installed by the manufacturer.  Technologically, the PathPilot uses edge-processing based computer vision and machine learning, and impresses with unprecedented contextual location awareness without requiring ground truth or connectivity.  It can both provide vehicle position with high and reliable contextual accuracy, and also enable operators to, for example, adjust speed to surface conditions or location in real time.

Safety and compliance are hot topics in micromobility, and various paths are being pursued to offer suitable solutions.  Drover AI has established itself in the market with a unique solution combining computer vision with a platform for urban mobility data; today its technology stands out in terms of capability, accuracy, and scalability.  Its data platform provides stakeholders valuable intelligence on vehicle usage, creating a robust basis for the identification of safety issues, compliance with laws and regulations, as well as the effectiveness of city planning measures, amongst others.  Moreover, operators gain further levers to save cost and even to generate additional revenue.  Reducing the time required to finding / collecting vehicles, mitigating costly parking violations, and reducing insurance costs as a result of more granular data - these are examples of how Drover can significantly impact operators’ cost base.  Collecting urban mobility data, ranging from the identification of parking spaces, potholes, traffic data etc. fills an important gap for mapping providers, and opens pathways to new revenue streams.

Drover AI is in our view therefore well positioned to be the leading technology provider in its field and fill an important gap with regards to urban mobility data.

About Drover AI

Drover specializes in advanced AI-based IoT solutions for last-mile transportation designed to elevate the performance of fleets while exceeding the regulatory requirements of the cities that host them. Drover's product, PathPilot, delivers cost-effective granular infrastructure distinction even in the absence of often unreliable GPS data allowing for unparalleled location awareness and the ability to take corresponding actions. Drover enables a safe and intelligent experience through technology in order to help ensure the long-term success of micromobility as a sustainable and integral part of urban transportation.

About Vektor Partners

At Vektor Partners we invest in the mobility revolution.  The world of transportation is undergoing dramatic changes – we partner with company founders that lead these changes.  From London, Palo Alto and Berlin, we are perfectly positioned to invest in a new generation of founders that will transform technology for the mobility sector in the 21st century.