The Neue Industry
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The Neue Industry

FotoNow founders Zeeshan Karamat and Florian Ziesche

A global game-changer for visual inspection: Why we invested in FotoNow

Join Capital is thrilled to announce a €3 million seed round for Munich-based FotoNow, a company tackling global challenges in manufacturing quality with an omnipresent, AI-powered visual inspection solution.

Quality in production is a massive global issue in the manufacturing industry. Poor quality isn’t just bad for business, but also for the environment. Defects and product recalls produce waste in both production and through shipping. For example, cars exported to China must be shipped back to Germany if the quality is poor.

That’s why we’re thrilled to back the team at FotoNow — a company that’s changing the game of AI-powered visual inspection for global manufacturers. With FotoNow’s software that can be used with any camera device, manufacturers are able to identify defects early on, improve production quality and operations and, ultimately, reduce waste.

Of course, we’ve recognized this as a huge opportunity for the global manufacturing industry. Here’s why we invested in FotoNow.

FotoNow in action

It’s an in-demand solution.

Manufactured goods are physical, and therefore they can’t be controlled for quality in the same way as software (where all the data is laid out in full, and there’s zero ambiguity). This creates a tough challenge for manufactures to reach quality standards for their production lines.

A scratch on a car, for example, can only be detected visually. There are several options to do this: with automated camera technology, or with human eyes. Manual inspection has been the go-to strategy until now, but it’s time-consuming, prone to error and not scalable.

FotoNow has instantly changed the game here with an easy-to-implement solution that works in real manufacturing settings. Based on deep learning and computer vision, FotoNow provides manufacturers with highly precise quality assurance that functions on any camera device.

Today, major market-leading production companies in Europe have begun utilizing FotoNow as an integral part of their transition to Industry 4.0.

It eliminates dependence on hardware.

Major manufacturers haven’t utilized automated tools for QA because available technologies just can’t deliver in real industrial environments. Moreover, legacy solutions require hardware modifications in the production line, such as line stabilizers, stoppers, additional light, etc. — making them unsuitable to address global manufacturing challenges.

FotoNow eliminates the need for manufacturing plants to modify production lines with additional hardware. Its high-precision functionality can perform analysis in plenty of unsolved use-cases, such as detection of blowholes or scratches. It’s also designed to work seamlessly in tough manufacturing situations with changing lighting, high-frequency vibrations and objects in movement. FotoNow’s customers can save millions on QA and solve complex issues that were too expensive to address previously.

Perhaps most importantly, because their technology is so unique, the team at FotoNow is fully capable of going after a greenfield market — one that’s much bigger than what we know today in visual QA.

The founders are experienced and relentless.

FotoNow founders Zeeshan Karamat and Florian Ziesche both have impressive backgrounds and proven experience in AI. Zeeshan, who studied deep learning at MIT, Stanford and TUM Munich, has a soft spot for visual quality and computer vision technology. He’s won over 100 hackathons and contributed to some disruptive applications of AI technology during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Florian has a passion for AI and manufacturing flowing through his veins, growing up in a machining manufacturing plant and earning credentials in the space from TUM Munich.

Both are relentless in their quest to make FotoNow the global market leader in visual QA for manufacturing. We’re beyond excited to watch their journey as they grow this company over the next several years.

For more information on FotoNow or Join Capital, drop us a line at hello@join.capital

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