Chinese 3D Mapping Startup Airlook Secures Series B+ Round

Airlook, a 3D mapping service, completed a series B+ round of financing in November 2019 worth nearly RMB100 million yuan led by GF Qianhe Investment. There are also follow-up investments from Ivy capital, GGV and BV Baidu Ventures. The financing will be used for the construction and application of 3D real-world maps and its commercialization.

Airlook, which was founded in 2015, provides 3D mapping services to governments and businesses, as well as technology and product development in data acquisition, production, processing and applications.

Airlook has completed five rounds of funding to date, following a series B round in September 2018 from GGV, BV Baidu Ventures and Ivy Capital, and a series A+ round in July 2017 from BV Baidu Ventures.

Wang Yanze, founder and CEO of Airlook, said that Airlook’s positioning is a content properties mapping company. In the future, 3D real-world maps will become an infrastructure that penetrates every aspect, allowing people to quickly “access” any location.

Airlook relies mainly on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for self-collection and data cooperation with partners to collect data. Airlook has reduced the cost of a single drone from RMB100,000 to the current RMB30,000 to solve the problem of overpriced drones. The self-collection of space data is realized by matching different loads for UAV.

Airlook said it had completed 3D mapping of 18 cities across the country, with its own data of about 30,000 sq km, concentrated in the core areas of first-and second-tier cities. In the first quarter of 2020, Airlook is set to launch a 3D mapping service that will include data on at least 20 cities.

The process of production refers to the 3D modeling and data post-processing of the original image acquired by UAV. In the traditional 3D data processing process, there are many problems such as lack of automatic production tools, high cost of importing foreign tools, difficult to ensure data security, long processing cycle and low efficiency.

Its own hypercomputing platform DataMaker is an intelligent data production tool for Airlook, which includes real-world 3d automatic modeling software Trimotion and visual AI based single / semantic processing scheme.

Combined with AI, the monomer / semantic processing scheme can automatically identify the building, road, vehicle, vegetation, water and other features in the modeling data, and carry out monomer and semantic annotation. The specific degree of refinement can be combined with user needs customized training.

According to the company, AI has an accuracy rate of 96.9 percent for 3D real-world map data of a city area of 6.64 square kilometers with a data capacity of 20 GB. The single machine identification takes about 20 minutes. In the aspect of processing time, the efficiency of recognition can be further improved by distributed multi-processor processing.

Wang cited the example of road. The DataMaker automatically identifies the vehicles and can choose to remove these elements during post processing.

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