The workplace AI software company is expected to roughly triple its valuation in the Series B funding round, multiple sources told Forbes.
Buzzy AI startup Intenseye is raising new funding that is expected to triple the company’s valuation, Forbes has learned. Venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners is leading the Series B, multiple sources tell Forbes, which will value the workplace safety AI company at approximately $300 million.
Five-year-old Intenseye, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze workplace images and videos to identify safety issues, drew so much interest amid an investor frenzy for AI companies that the deal came together in just a matter of days, a source with knowledge of the process said. Lightspeed ended up the preferred term sheet, five sources told Forbes. Intenseye is raising $65 million in the funding round, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiation.
Intenseye did not respond to a request for comment as of publication time. Lightspeed declined to comment.
Launched in Istanbul in 2018 by cofounders Sercan Esen and Serhat Cillidag, who previously worked together as AI engineers for Sony at its Turkey office, Intenseye’s software connects to a workplace’s existing surveillance cameras, then uses machine learning to scan the resulting images and videos for unsafe behavior or hazards. (Customers can run Intenseye’s tools on the cloud or on their own servers, according to its site.) Its technology can identify issues with worker body posture, danger zone violations and whether a worker is wearing appropriate protective gear.
Now co-headquartered in New York, Intenseye’s customers include Coca-Cola and British textile conglomerate Coats. The company appeared on the Forbes AI 50 list in 2022.
Intenseye had previously announced a $25 million Series A funding round led by Insight Partners in 2021. That round, which included existing investors Air Street Capital and Point Nine, valued the company at just under $100 million at the time, according to PitchBook data. Insight and Air Street declined to comment. Point Nine didn’t respond to a comment request.
Intenseye said in an April press release that its AI models were trained on “a dataset of 22 billion images collected from 25 countries,” adding that it only tracked “actions” and “protects the identities of individuals” by blurring faces, among other measures. “We have assumed responsibility for designing AI ethically and deploying it responsibly to promote psychological safety in the workplaces,” Gökhan Yildiz, Intenseye’s head of business development, said then.
Intenseye’s latest funding round comes as more than $32 billion in venture capital funding has poured into AI and machine learning companies this year — a figure that includes Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI — according to PitchBook data.
Lightspeed is emerging as one of the more active players in the sector. In June, it said it counted more than 35 AI companies in its portfolio, with some $850 million invested.
Within AI, the firm’s deals have varied widely. Last month, Lightspeed announced a $50 million funding round into online gaming startup Inworld.AI, a few weeks after spearheading a much smaller $2 million AI-related investment into business process outsourcing firm Gushworks. Other notable AI investments include People.ai and Snorkel.ai.
The venture firm has moved fast in previous cases of peer interest, too. The founder of Stability AI, Emad Mostaque, previously told Forbes that Lightspeed had agreed to co-lead a $100 million funding round into the company in just six days — around the time the company launched its Stability Diffusion image generator — and eight times more money than Mostaque had set out to raise, he claimed. That Forbes report also revealed that Mostaque had exaggerated claims about his life story, including overstating his role in several major AI projects. Lightspeed declined to comment at the time.
Additional reporting by Kenrick Cai.