UPDATED 07:30 EDT / FEBRUARY 17 2022


Subterranean mapping startup Exodigo launches with $29M in seed funding

Self-styled “nonintrusive subsurface mapping” platform provider Exodigo Ltd. is launching today after closing on a fairly hefty $29 million seed funding round.

Zeev Ventures and 10D Ventures led the round, with participation from SquarePeg Capital, JIBE Ventures, Tidhar Construction Ltd., Israel Canada Group and WXG Ltd.

With today’s launch, Exodigo announced the commercial availability of its unique, nonintrusive subterranean mapping platform for construction, mining and utility firms in the U.S. and Israel.

Exodigo is attempting to revolutionize the underground discovery industry, which it says spends more than $100 billion a year on unnecessary excavations and drilling to discover what lies underneath the Earth, whether it’s to discover water resources or oil or to avoid hitting gas pipelines and other hazards hidden beneath. Not only is this excavation expensive, but it has a serious environmental cost, with the use of heavy machinery leading to avoidable gas emissions, spills and even explosions that can cost lives.

Exodigo cites a study by the Common Ground Alliance, which estimates $30 billion a year in societal costs arise from damage to critical U.S. underground infrastructure every year as a result of these excavations.

Exodigo avoids all of this with a unique multisensor system carried by drones and small carts that perform 3D subsurface imaging, then use artificial intelligence to map what lies beneath the ground. The company says its system relies on a combination of magnetic, electromagnetic, gravitation, hyperspectral, radar, lidar and seismic sensors. It claims it’s so accurate that it completely eliminates the need for exploratory excavation, de-risking the discovery process for multiple industries.

Exodigo co-founder and Chief Executive Jeremy Suard told SiliconANGLE the system can be thought of as a combination of an MRI, CT scan and ultrasound technologies.

“We use drones and carts as platforms to onboard our sensors,” he explained. “Typically, we use drones in rural areas, and we use carts in urban areas. The availability of these two platforms ensure our ability to scan any type of environment and adapt to logistics challenges.”

With its system, Exodigo can create a highly accurate digital geolocated 3D map of buried assets – be it man-made pipes and cables, soil layers, rocks, minerals or groundwater – across any kind of terrain.

Suard said Exodigo uses advanced AI algorithms to create these 3D maps, combining the information from the above sensors and fusing them into a single image. He said AI is a necessary tool because underground can be an extremely noisy environment.

“While most of us would think the underground might be quiet, it is actually the noisiest, and therefore one of the most complicated, frontiers for imaging,” Suard said. “All the signals that are affected by the underground suffer from a major dynamic range, highly noisy environments and completely different normalizations. Successfully combining all those signals into one single matrix has never been done before, but that is exactly what the Exodigo team has achieved.”

Suard added that, for now, Exodigo is mostly focused on delivering complete and accurate images of the underground at depths of up to 10 meters, because that’s where most risks such as utilities lie.

“Our next iteration will focus on ground layers, and our future products will focus on deeper explorations, such as minerals, cavities for potential carbon storage and sequestration and reservoirs,” he said. “The larger the type of cavity, the easier it is to see it at large depth.”

Tidhar Construction CEO Gil Geva said he invested in Exodigo because traditional underground discovery techniques are “grossly outdated and incredibly inaccurate.”

With the commercial launch of its platform, Exodigo said it will commence pilot projects in California, Florida and Texas in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the funds from today’s seed funding round will be used to set up a California-based team to support Exodigo’s rollout in the U.S.

Image: Exodigo

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