CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Self-driving technology company, ISEE, has raised $40M in a Series B funding round led by Founders Fund, which included Maersk Growth, Eniac Ventures, New Legacy, and other new and existing investors. This brings ISEE’s total funding to $70 million since the company was spun out of MIT in 2017.
Addressing a problem of global proportions.
It’s no surprise to anyone participating in today’s economy that the global supply chain is in need of modernization. What’s surprising, however, is that many of the supply chain challenges we face can be addressed by focusing on one key link: the logistics yard. Logistics yards are where shipping containers reside as they wait… and wait… to be transported by truck to a warehouse or distribution center. Currently, there are 500,000 “yard trucks” operating globally. The work is challenging, repetitive, and dangerous. ISEE thinks there’s a better way.
The first and only company to achieve fully-autonomous operations in the logistics yard space.
The logistical nightmare of a yard, it turns out, is an AI roboticist’s dream. Says ISEE Co-Founder & CEO, Yibiao Zhao, “By leveraging advanced cognitive modeling, game theory, and deep learning, we’ve developed proprietary technology that’s a perfect match for the challenges of a logistics yard.” Zhao and team developed a unique “humanistic” AI that gives yard trucks “common sense.” Continued Zhao, “Our self-driving technology is the most advanced autonomous yard tractor product on the market.” It’s also proven. With more than 10,000 completed self-driving trailer moves at customer sites, ISEE is the first and only company to achieve fully-autonomous operations in the logistics yard space.
Trucks with customer traction.
With ISEE’s self-driving yard trucks, logistics yard operators can gain predictability in a supply chain world that is anything but. Predictable capacity, performance, safety — and cost savings — all in the midst of a global supply chain crisis. It’s a value proposition that is resonating with companies who are already leveraging advanced technology to modernize their global operations, including Fortune 100 companies in e-commerce, retail, automotive OEM, as well as major 3PL players.
But as advanced as their customers may be in optimizing their operations, ISEE prides itself on meeting companies where they are. Says Zhao, “Our customers value the fact that we are platform agnostic: no matter what their fleet — diesel or electric — with ISEE technology, we can make their fleet fully autonomous.” What’s more, ISEE can deploy trucks and start “live loads” in just 4 weeks — with no infrastructure changes and no disruption to yard operations. ISEE’s pilot success rate versus competitors? An industry-leading 100%. Which explains why customers are deciding to partner with ISEE for the long term and roll their solution out across their networks.
High customer ROI is driving demand.
With ISEE’s technology, customers can achieve 30% IRR, while simultaneously benefiting from a sophisticated tech stack that enables them to manage their operations with unprecedented efficiency. ISEE is winning too: revenue has grown by more than 20x in the past 12 months alone. Co-founder, President & COO Debbie Yu feels this is only the beginning, “With this new funding and strong customer pipeline, we’re excited to scale our operations and accelerate our business growth so that we can bring our self-driving technology to more customers.”
Co-founded and led by a minority woman, ISEE values diversity.
Because ISEE was co-founded and is led by a minority woman, the company values diversity — of background, experience, and perspective — and sees it as critical to success. Says Yu, “Diversity, especially in leadership, gives ISEE a breadth of experience and perspective, that enables us to better understand and collaborate with our diverse set of customers.” As President & COO, Yu spearheads ISEE’s go-to-market strategy and leads conversations with investors. Despite oftentimes being the only woman in the room, Yu’s background of growing up in an entrepreneurial family has prepared her well. She was recently named a 2022 Power Player in the Self-driving Industry by Business Insider.
When asked about the future, CEO, Zhao says, “We are deeply committed to our mission of building a future where autonomous machines can thrive alongside people, seamlessly and safely, freeing us to do what we do best.”