RailVision Analytics, the company powering the railway industry into a new era of cleantech, announced it has closed a US$4 million (CAD$5.5 million) seed funding round from investors that back entrepreneurs building the future of transportation. The investment – which was more than two times oversubscribed – was led by Trucks Venture Capital with participation from new investors MUUS Climate Partners, Blackhorn Ventures, Incite.org, and Measured Ventures, and returning investors Active Impact Investments and Neil Murdoch. RailVision will use the funding for technical hiring, to grow its product development team, and to expand its product line and customer base.
RailVision was launched in 2020 with the objective of helping the railway industry reduce its fuel consumption and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fuel is the largest cost to railroad companies after labor. While the railroad industry is open to innovations that will drive efficiencies, tools typically used by the sector to address the issue of high fuel costs are limiting, antiquated, and necessitate complicated integrations.
RailVision’s flagship EcoRail app was launched in 2021 to mitigate skyrocketing fuel prices by lowering consumption, reducing emissions, improving crew safety, monitoring operation compliance, and reducing wear on equipment for the $100B North American rail industry. EcoRail is a lightweight app used on a crew tablet. As it embraces a user interface similar to Google Maps, the app is easy for railroad engineers to adopt. In early demonstrations, EcoRail delivered meaningful fuel cost savings of 10 – 15% and in turn, lower GHG emissions.
“The rail industry is the backbone of global supply chains and is responsible for moving the majority of the world’s raw and finished materials. It also happens to be the most efficient – and environmentally friendly – transportation industry by nearly four times, yet is often overlooked in terms of opportunities for growth and innovation,” says Dev Jain, founder, and CEO of RailVision. “This seed investment enables us to disrupt this status quo by developing technology that can drive growth and introduce innovation to this strong but stable industry, while further reducing its environmental impact. The funding also enables us to significantly expand our reach and deliver a robust solution for the larger Class I market.”
Over the past year, EcoRail has been in pilot testing with several companies, including Genessee & Wyoming, Metrolinx, Port of Montreal, and Via Rail. The app is now commercially available for deployment by all passenger and freight shortline railroads.
“RailVision takes a lightweight, software-only approach but with heavy savings for train operators,” said Reilly Brennan, General Partner at Trucks Venture Capital. “By using RailVision’s product, trains will burn less fuel, save more money, and make transportation better. We’re excited to see where the team takes the product in the future.”
RailVision’s product makes for a more economical option for trains compared to trucks. “The idea behind our vision is to not only highlight what’s possible in the railway industry but to also champion the adoption of rail with the goal of reducing heavy congestion and pressure currently placed on public roads, which will significantly lower GHG emissions,” says Jain.
“There is huge growth and impact potential in the rail sector yet not enough people are thinking about it,” says Mike Winterfield, Managing Partner of Active Impact Investments, Canada’s largest climate tech seed fund. “Two impressive early pilots with major railways captured our interest and prompted our investment. Based on the traction RailVision has achieved to date, they are now very well positioned to attract a team that will help the company deliver significant savings to its customers.”
RailVision Analytics is developing in-cab technology for passenger and freight trains to drive efficiency and growth in the rail industry. RailVision’s EcoRail app directly reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions through improved train handling.
For more information, visit RailVision.ca.
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