Foresight Williams Technology (“FWT”) Funds are pleased to announce a £1 million investment in dRISK, an autonomous vehicle testing and training company.
Founded in 2014, by CEO Chess Stetson, dRISK is an AI company which promises to revolutionise autonomous vehicles’ (“AVs”) safety by training them to avoid high risk scenarios. This contrasts with the conventional approach of training AV’s on low risk driving. dRISK counts multiple leading AV developers among its current customer base – which is growing quickly.
dRISK‘s core technology – with four patents granted and two pending – uses networks of data to store, visualise, and reveal “unknown unknowns” in complex and highly sparse data areas.
The commercial rollout of AVs has failed to live up to expectations due to the technical challenge of dealing with high risk scenarios which are unlikely, but pose a real risk. dRISK solves this problem by fusing public, private and proprietary data covering high risk scenarios. dRISK’s statistical robustness and auditability has allowed it to win the largest grant from the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous vehicles; enabling dRISK to build the ultimate test for self-driving cars.
The global market for AI training data alone is currently valued at $1.5 billion. FWT’s investment will accelerate the development and growth of dRISK as a central technology for AV development.
Matthew Burke, Head of Technology Ventures at WAE, commented: “dRISK’s proprietary technology has the potential to accelerate the development of automated driving control systems and overcome one of the main barriers to self-driving: the identification of edge cases. We are delighted that FWT has made this investment and we expect to leverage our knowledge of the automotive industry to increase uptake of dRISK’s technology.”
Chess Stetson, Chief Executive of dRISK, added: “This investment will allow dRISK to accelerate our business plan and achieve our goal of introducing the dRISK product to the majority of the AV industry. And in turn, dramatically accelerating the development of safe and useable autonomous vehicles. We thank Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering for their support.”
Commenting on the investment, Hugh Minnock, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight, said: “Foresight Williams Technology is delighted to invest in dRISK, a hugely exciting company that will hasten the Autonomous Vehicle revolution and the decarbonised future we expect to follow.”
About Foresight Williams Technology
Foresight and Williams Advanced Engineering started their investment collaboration in 2016 with the launch of the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund. 2019 saw the launch of a sister fund, the Foresight Williams Technology VCT share class, which sits within the Foresight Solar & Technology VCT plc. These two funds target investment in companies developing innovative and transformational technologies and where we believe Foresight’s and Williams’ expertise and services can be harnessed to assist with the development of the businesses, with the objective of achieving successful exits at high-value multiples.
About Williams Advanced Engineering (“WAE”) WAE is a world-leading technology and engineering services business delivering pioneering innovation to improve performance, efficiency and sustainability to a global customer base.
Combining cutting-edge technological advances and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from the ultra-competitive environment of motorsport, WAE’s capabilities cover a wide range of disciplines.
The company provides ground-breaking innovation covering advanced battery and electrification technologies and product development; aided by advanced simulation, testing, rapid prototyping and volume manufacturing. Working in close collaboration with our customers, WAE remains committed to meeting the continued sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.
WAE can trace its foundations back to 2010 when Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations; a division which later became WAE. In December 2019, Williams Grand Prix Engineering (which is owned by private investment firm Dorilton Capital) sold a majority equity stake in WAE to EMK Capital.
WAE has grown from an embryonic business in 2010 to a company which employs approximately 400 people engaged in leading-edge and transformative technologies for a growing list of Tier 1 clients.
Following the acquisition by Fortescue Metals Group, which completed in March 2022, WAE will continue to service its existing customers and commercialise new technology opportunities, in addition to playing a key role in supporting Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy.
For more information see www.wae.com