Piva Invests in Urbint: Arming the World’s Essential Utilities with Predictive AI
The wave of digitalization that has transformed the consumer landscape is just now starting to create value in the industrial economy. While major infrastructure projects such as electricity, gas, water and telecommunication networks have steadily improved the quality of life over the past century — most of the technology that underpins these most essential services is dated to say the least.
At Piva, we look to back the companies that will define the new era of industrial activity. We see a huge opportunity in applying technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to bring utilities into the digital age and create tremendous value by more efficiently assessing risk within complex and critical pieces of infrastructure.
Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve invested in Urbint, an enterprise software company based in New York and a pioneering market leader in AI for infrastructure safety and field risk management. Co-leading the company’s $20M Series B round, we’ll be joining an excellent lineup up of co-investors including Energy Impact Partners, Salesforce Ventures and National Grid Partners.
“We believe that artificial intelligence will revolutionize the way the energy industry reduces field risk to protect the community, workers, and infrastructure. It was clear early in our conversations with Piva that, not only did they share that vision, but they had the deep industry knowledge and relationships we were looking for in a partner to accelerate our growth, both domestically and overseas.”
— Corey Capasso, Founder and CEO of Urbint.
Climate Change, Aging Hardware and an Industry in Transition — Why Urbint’s Predictive AI is a Must-Have for Safe & Resilient Infrastructure
Utilities and telecom networks face an overwhelming range of new risks to manage, including more extreme weather events driven by climate change and aging hardware. These industries are also in the middle of significant upgrades that create disruptions and pose their own risks. For example, energy networks are shifting from centralized and fossil-fuel-based to distributed and renewable, while the US telecom industry will spend $275 billion to roll out 5G networks in the next 5 years.
In the face of all this change, Urbint leverages AI to offer infrastructure owners the maximum risk-reduction and safety/reliability-increase per dollar spent. They’ve developed technology that isn’t just a “nice to have” — it’s a necessity for the world’s most essential utilities to avoid disasters such as worker safety incidents, explosions, and potent greenhouse gas emissions from leaks.
Urbint’s predictions help critical infrastructure operators allocate scarce resources to the highest priority risks across many product categories — from 811 and gas odor calls to replacing equipment — that helps keep our lights on, our water hot, and our Zoom calls running. They also help communities free up emergency response services, such as fire departments and first responders, from dealing with the fallout from avoidable infrastructure damage.
Urbint collects asset and operational data from customers spanning multiple verticals, and maps it to their proprietary “Model of the World.” This is a data-based representation of a geography that includes a wide range of factors such as weather, soil conditions, traffic patterns and so on. This approach expands the number of variables its machine learning algorithms can work with to make predictions of infrastructure risk and impact by many times over compared to the status quo, resulting in far more accurate and tailored predictions.
The Urbint approach is also flexible, creating more resilient customers, which has only grown in importance with the increase in climate-related risk and the pandemic. Since the onset of COVID-19, Urbint has enabled customers to target emergency work to keep communities safe while protecting workers from unnecessary virus exposure risk on low priority field work. In addition, they’ve also helped utilities identify threats that could cause high-consequence outages to essential facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.
First-Class Enterprise AI, Industry Expertise & Leadership — Why Urbint is Poised for Success
When we first heard Urbint’s pitch, we were immediately impressed with the vision of CEO Corey Capasso, the company’s founder. He’s been able to rapidly deliver within a customer base that is known for moving slowly — now counting most of the largest North American utilities as customers with significant opportunity for international growth.
Corey has recruited unmatched talent, including CTO Josh Attenberg, former Head of Data Science at both Etsy and Compass, and CRO Alison Graham, formerly a senior sales leader at Salesforce and IBM with invaluable expertise in managing global risk functions.
We believe that with Urbint’s combination of first-class enterprise AI, deep industry expertise and a strong leadership team, the company has the potential to build on their already impressive traction and become the dominant solution for infrastructure risk in the utility market.
At Piva, we are thrilled to be working with the entire team and will sleep better knowing that Urbint is helping critical service providers operate more safely, more reliably and more efficiently.