Vancouver-based Damon Motorcycles, a company that creates safety innovations for motorcycles using sensor fusion, robotics, and AI technology, has raised a $2.5 million Seed round from Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Extreme Venture Partners, and Pallasite Ventures.
“Our goal is to usher in a world with no fatal accidents on Damonized vehicles by 2030.”
There were 51 deaths related to motorcycle crashes in British Columbia alone in 2018, according to a recent B.C. Coroners Service report. Damon stated that it seeks to make motorcycles safer by using low-cost connectivity networks, sensors, and mobile computing. The company said with the new funds, it will be able to address the critical safety needs of motorcycle customers and manufacturers.
“We typically do not do Seed deals, but occasionally we come across a founder and a plan that we think can be a potential game changer and we felt strongly that Damon fit this definition,” said Bruce Croxon, managing partner at Round 13 Capital. “We were impressed with the company founder, the idea itself and the problem it’s solving, and we’re thrilled to be onboard.”
Unlike the traditional driver-assistance systems in cars, Damon’s Advanced Warning System for Motorcycles recognizes the ‘cageless’ conditions and vehicle dynamics of motorcycles that make riders vulnerable on the road. The company has developed forward, side, and rear detection algorithms that communicate to form a 360-degree birds’ eye view of what’s happening around the motorcycle.
Damon’s algorithms have to be tested over thousands of miles, both real and virtual, before a motorcycle can detect and anticipate accidents on all sides, in all environmental and traffic conditions, on a consistent basis. With cellular connectivity, possible collision scenarios are recorded, and the data is then sent automatically to a cloud platform where an AI-powered engine continually learns and creates new algorithms. Updates are returned to the bike’s processor and alert the rider to potential hazards on the road.
The company was founded by Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong in 2017, and its team consists of a group of former Intel, Harley-Davidson, Polaris, Nokia, and Mojio workers. It is a Creative Destruction Lab alumni and a Techstars Mobility company.
“We are focused on the forgotten category of 1.5 billion vulnerable road users, and to fulfill our vision, we put data-driven thinking at the epicentre of the company,” said Giraud. “We are building a radical riding experience where the joy and simplicity of riding is augmented by technology, and our goal is to usher in a world with no fatal accidents on Damonized [sic] vehicles by 2030.”
The company said motorcycle manufacturers are currently evaluating its technology for factory integration.
Image courtesy Damon