Hyundai venture arm invests in Israeli computer vision startup allegro.ai
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Hyundai venture arm invests in Israeli computer vision startup allegro.ai

Partnership will help South Korean car giant ‘speed up deployment of AI technology in many business areas’

Youngcho Chi, chief innovation officer Strategy and Technology at Hyundai Motors Group, speaking at The Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv. Oct. 31, 2017 (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)
Youngcho Chi, chief innovation officer Strategy and Technology at Hyundai Motors Group, speaking at The Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv. Oct. 31, 2017 (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)

The corporate venture arm of Hyundai Motor Company has made a strategic investment of an undisclosed amount into Israeli startup allegro.ai., a developer of computer vision technologies based on deep learning, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

The partnership with allegro.ai will allow Hyundai to “speed up deployment of AI technology in many business areas,” improving the quality of its products and creating “a safer driving environment,” Hyundai CRADLE and allegro.ai said.

Founded in 2016, allegro.ai offers software that simplifies the process of developing and managing solutions and products, such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security and logistics systems, that are powered by artificial intelligence and deep learning. The software also allows customers to update their devices and their learning capabilities while in use, so every device can continue to improve its operations.

“Deep learning computer vision is one of the core technologies that can be applied to autonomous driving to navigate roads and make quick decisions in real-time – and allegro.ai is clearly an innovation leader in that field,” said Ruby Chen, head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv.

“Our investment in allego.ai is a further step in enhancing our presence in the Israeli market, a global leader of technological innovation in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence and deep learning,” he said. “This is our fifth investment in an Israeli company and our activities will continue to grow the coming year.”

Nir Bar-Lev CEO and co-founder of allegro.ai (Courtesy)

Allegro.ai was set up in 2016 by Moses Guttman, Nir Bar-Lev and Gil Westrich, with a team of people with extensive expertise in computer vision, deep learning, and embedded and high-performance computing. Allegro.ai’s investors include MizMaa Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Hyundai Motor Company, Dynamic Loop Capital and Gandyr Group.

“Whether a company is developing autonomous vehicles, drones, security, or other types of applications, allegro.ai makes it easy for them to manage their data-sets and build deep learning-based solutions while guaranteeing complete and confidential control of their data,” said Bar-Lev, the CEO and co-founder of allegro.ai, in the statement.

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company operates in more than 200 countries and employs more than 110,000 employees worldwide.

Last year, Youngcho Chi, the chief innovation officer of Strategy and Technology at Hyundai Motors Group, said that the South Korean car manufacturer, among the five largest globally, would set up an innovation hub in Israel, and its key points of interest would be artificial intelligence, robotics, energy and smart city technologies. The South Korean giant would be looking to partner, acquire or invest in local firms to introduce their products globally.

In July, the Korean giant said it invested an undisclosed amount of money in Israeli startup Autotalks, a maker of vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems for use in autonomous driving cars.

Hyundai CRADLE is Hyundai Motor’s corporate venture and open innovation business, which partners and invests in startups globally to speed up the development of advanced automotive technologies.

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