In the latest development, French startup Monk that has developed an AI-based inspection and detection system for car damages has raised €2.1 million in a seed round led by Iris Capital, alongside Plug and Play and key business angels including Patrick Sayer, Yannis Yahiaoui, and Arthur Waller.
The Paris-based startup will utilise this funding to R&D program, the recruitment of new team members, especially data scientists, and its business expansion across Europe.
Aboubakr Laraki, Monk CEO & Co-Founder, said: “Monk’s mission is to transform the mobility & insurance market by bringing trust & efficiency whenever a car changes hands. We’ve built an AI-based, hardware-free, inspection system that assesses instantly any vehicle’s condition from photos or videos. From day 1 the challenge proposed by Getaround was equivalent to climbing up Everest. Internally it paved the way for a strong culture of breaking walls and externally the product we ended up with has echoed a lot in the automotive and insurance industries. We’ve been lucky to quickly deploy our product in other contexts and build high-quality customer relationships that we aim at consolidating and developing in the coming months.
Founded by Aboubakr Laraki (CEO) and Fayçal Slaoui (CTO) in 2019, the solution is based on a ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence technology allowing to detect damages on any car relying on pictures taken by users, renters and/or drivers for a fraction of the traditional solutions price.
Also, they partnered with Getaround, a leader of the peer-to-peer car rental market to provide them with car damages claims material that proved game-changing compared to the solutions available in the industry.
P. Beret, VP Risk Getaround, said: “Among all the solutions we’ve tested to automatically detect damage on vehicles from photos provided by our users, not only did Monk eclipse the competition but their results also exceeded our expectations.”
The Paris-based company also gathered world-class AI experts and mentors such as Jéremie Jakubowicz (AI Teacher at Polytechnique with Aboubakr Laraki and VP Data at ManoMano) or Raphaël Bonaque, trained with Joshua Bengio, to foster the project’s ambition.
Once the results proved its efficiency, Monk started operating in September 2019 in Paris and has already convinced several professionals of the car logistics and rental industry as well as a Tier 1 European car Manufacturer (partnership to be announced later this year).
Julien-David Nitlech, the Managing Partner at Iris Capital, said: “Monk has the potential to address many issues related to car damages. They’re starting with car rental claims processes in an industry on the verge of being drastically transformed by the recent crisis. But the insurance industry is also looking for tools to simplify and optimise its underwriting & claim appraisal processes, a $200 billion market today, where it would allow for more efficient, optimised and faster settlement. This would represent tremendous savings and better customer satisfaction for insurers. We believe Monk has the potential to solve these issues with its cutting edge technology”
Main image credits: Iris Capital
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