BMW announced a new investment yesterday through its investment arm BMW i Ventures. The newest company the Bavarians decided to invest in is Alitheon, a deep-tech AI developer based in Washington. The company raised $14.9 million in venture capital, thanks to investments from BMW i Ventures, IPD Capital and Shasta Ventures alongside current and former senior management from Accenture, Boeing and Fidelity.
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Alitheon has been developing a technology they call FeaturePrint which is meant to be used as an authenticator of sorts. Basically, this technology transforms how objects, components and finished products are authenticated, tracked and traced across supply chains and distribution systems throughout the world.
Once registered by Alitheon’s optical artificial intelligence system, any individual item can be subsequently identified wherever it exists to verify authenticity, determine place and time of origin, detect signs of tampering, measure wear and identify grey market and counterfeit products including unauthorized over runs and previously rejected products.
“A FeaturePrint registration or authentication can be performed in milliseconds at industrial production speeds without human involvement using off-the-shelf hardware integrated at any step throughout manufacturing and distribution,” said Scot E. Land, Alitheon’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Our mission is straightforward: to create enduring trust among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and customers.”
According to the company, the funds raised will be used cross the defense, aerospace, aviation services, automotive, semiconductor, luxury goods, additive manufacturing, pharmaceutical and government sectors. BMW will also be using the technology in its manufacturing process to identify possible counterfeiting or security risks.
“Alitheon’s ability to identify an item using only the object itself…is groundbreaking,” said Marcus Behrendt, partner at BMW i Ventures. “FeaturePrint technology has the potential to bring a new level of trust to supply chains that does not currently exist,” he added.