Israeli underground mapping technology start-up Exodigo plans to have a pilot ready for mining industry use by the end of 2022, bolstered by a recent US$29 million seed funding.
Just over one-year-old, the company is eyeing a move into the global mining market, starting in the US via a California-based team, after successful trials by construction and utility companies in Israel. The testwork has been mostly aimed at generating accurate subterranean images to depths of about 10m.
Mining presents a significant market opportunity for Exodigo, CEO and co-founder Jeremy Suard told InvestMETS.
He wants to partner with a major mining company “over the next few months to test and prove our solution”.
“Every year, around $10 billion is spent on exploration. The size of the mining market itself is immense, so we see unlimited potential for Exodigo to help improve the discovery process,” he said. “The most significant trend tied to subterranean exploration is finding the materials needed for clean energy.”
There are other companies with non-intrusive underground mapping technologies active in the market, however, Suard claims Exodigo is the only one with a multi-sensor mapping technology solution. He describes the platform as “combining the scanning power of an MRI, CT scan and ultrasound all into one image of what is beneath the ground”.
“The Exodigo platform leverages proprietary artificial intelligence and software expertise to build one easy-to-read, comprehensive map from all the disparate data signals,” he said. “Exodigo merges all imaging signals together – combining signals like vibrations, magnetics and electricity into a single normalised matrix to train the AI platform. It is the only platform with cutting-edge multi-sensor scanning technology capable of creating accurate, reliable and beautiful subterranean maps. Exodigo can scan enormous areas at scale with high accuracy using drones or more complex urban environments with high-precision ground platforms.”
Suard and his two co-founders, Ido Gonen and Yogev Shifman worked in the Israeli military’s elite 81 and 8200 intelligence units, leveraging deep-tech for special operations. “After our service ended, we knew there was a major opportunity to combine our expertise in artificial intelligence, software and signal processing to solve a real-world imaging problem,” he said.
“There were two fields we were interested in most – the human body and the underground – as they were the two places where cameras still simply cannot see everything. After a lot of research, we decided to focus on building a technology platform to accurately see what lies beneath the ground.
“Once we realised how huge a problem it was, we knew we could make an immediate difference across many industries if we could solve the underground mapping challenge.”
The recent seed funding co-led by Zeev Ventures and 10D Ventures, with participation from SquarePeg Capital, JIBE Ventures, Tidhar Construction, Israel Canada and WXG, would speed up expansion plans, Suard said.
“We want to lead a new era of safer, more sustainable and more precise subterranean discovery,” he said. “To do that, we need to get our technology in use across as many industries and geographies as possible so the funding is absolutely a game changer for Exodigo.
“The funding will be used to accelerate our expansion by supporting the initial commercial rollout in the United States. We are aggressively building out our team to drive our pilot projects and continued solution development, and hope to have more than 50 employees by the end of the year.”
As with all start-ups, Exodigo’s biggest challenge is finding the right growth tempo.
“Our primary focus is on expanding our operation globally,” Suard said. “We need to ensure we scale in a way that is also cost effective.
“Yes, we plan on going global as soon as possible but have not finalised plans for any specific market beyond the United States and Israel. Our goal would be to have Exodigo serve as the primary underground mapping solution for major markets around the globe.
“By the end of 2022, we will have significant projects in the construction world and plan on starting pilots in the mining industry.”