RADAR – Our selection of innovative businesses #73

Plantd raises $10 million to develop "carbon neutral" building materials. French startup XXII raises €22 million for its AI-powered real-time video stream analysis solution. Oculai, the artificial intelligence solution dedicated to construction site monitoring accelerated by Leonard, raises €2.5M to accelerate its development.

Plantd raises $10 million to develop “carbon neutral” building materials

North Carolina-based startup Plantd has recently raised $10 million to develop sustainable, “carbon-negative” building materials from perennial grasses. Its goal? To create an alternative to wood-based building materials.

By working in partnership with farmers in its region, Plantd intends to create an entire supply chain for plants that can be used in construction, without a negative impact on the climate. The varieties selected (a mixture of perennial grasses) both capture CO2 and require very few inputs and little mechanical work during their cultivation, ensuring that minimum CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

For now, the startup is focused on developing partitions and panels made incorporating these plants, but the idea is that this process can be used to make any building material in the future. In addition to developing its innovative materials, Plantd is also working on creating construction materials factories of the future, relying on 3D printing technology, again to limit the carbon footprint of production.

The company was in fact created by two former SpaceX engineers, who designed the essential life support systems for the Dragon cargo and crew spacecraft.

French startup XXII raises €22 million for its AI-powered real-time video stream analysis solution

Founded in 2015, the French startup XXII has just raised €22 million in Series A from the Fonds Innovation Défense, which is managed by Bpifrance, alongside 574 Invest (Groupe SNCF’s corporate venture fund), CIB Développement (Colas Group), Techmind, Kima Ventures, various business angels as well as Groupe Duval, a previous investor.

With a workforce of around 50 employees, the startup aims to become a world leader in computer vision. It offers an AI-powered real-time video stream analysis solution, used by companies to secure their infrastructure or by local authorities as part of their video surveillance policy.

This Series A funding comes off the back of an initial €1.5-million seed funding in 2020, plus a patent filing in August 2021, as well as being named one of FrenchTech’s DeepNum20 winners in October 2022. The funds will enable XXII to strengthen its R&D, increase its workforce, upscale the deployment of its technology, target new markets and accelerate international development in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

XXII also intends to make the use of computer vision more accessible with the development of specific applications for the retail, industry and logistics sectors, all in compliance with the framework set by the CNIL (the French data protection regulatory body) and the GDPR (the EU General Data Protection Regulation).

Oculai raises €2.5 million to optimise on-site surveillance

 Oculai, a German startup launched in 2021 which participated in the Leonard SEED 2022 programme, has just raised €2.5 million. Like XXII, it operates in the field of computer vision, but here it’s applied to the field of construction.

So what’s their idea? To automate process and progress monitoring for construction sites. With the aid of cameras installed overhead, the solution applies its own deep learning models to automatically track construction processes.

The Oculai interface gives users access to features such as automated target/actual schedules, automatic drafting of daily construction reports, and process KPIs. The solution gives users a transparent and real-time overview of the construction site.

This seed round was led by High-Tech Gründerfonds. Other investors include Bayern Kapital and Axeleo Capital. Leonard also participated in the funding round alongside renowned private investors.

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