TechSee raises $30 million to streamline field service work with AR and computer vision


TechSee, which describes itself as an “intelligent visual assistance” company, today closed a $30 million investment round co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and Telus Ventures. A spokesperson for the startup says the capital injection will be used to enter new markets and verticals while expanding TechSee’s product offerings and capabilities.

The augmented reality market is estimated to grow from $10.7 billion in 2019 to $72.7 billion by 2024, according to a recent Markets and Markets report. At least a portion of that growth has been driven by field service applications; technicians are faced with the challenging task of working on equipment with varying technical specifications, often in confined or hard-to-reach spaces. With AR apps, they could have all of the information they need displayed in front of them while keeping their hands free to work.

TechSee was founded in 2014 by Eitan Cohen, Amir Yoffe, and Gabby Sarusi. Cohen conceptualized the idea after struggling to walk his parents through an issue they were having with their cable service.

TechSee’s cross-platform, AWS-hosted apps employ computer vision to recognize products and issues and streamline warranty registration. For instance, TechSee Live, the company’s call center solution, lets agents see what customers see through their smartphone cameras and visually guide them to resolutions. Agents can opt to receive live video or photos, with features like a visual session history and mobile screen mirroring, as well as share their desktops and browsers. Moreover, TechSee Live allows agents to send text messages or initiate calls during visual sessions, and to remotely scan serial numbers and barcodes using optical character recognition.

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“Our models are created and trained to analyze electronic products, based on [provided] data, to allow the recognition of specific device models and issues,” TechSee explains on its website. In addition to devices themselves, the models can recognize individual components including ports, cables, buttons, error codes, indicator LEDs, statuses, and more to retrieve guidance from a knowledge base. “Data is collected through crowdsourcing of expertise, from synthetic image generation or other any visual data sets. Training a new device takes a matter of hours with ‘few-shot learning’ methods, reducing the number of required images from tens of thousands to just several.”

TechSee Live, which integrates with platforms including Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, SAP, and Oracle Service Cloud, also helps technicians, customers, and subcontractors manage visual libraries of predefined resolution instructions. It can identify the locations of users during visual sessions to keep tabs on field technicians and subcontractors, and it can be used to build and customize guided self-service flows for image capture while integrating with existing chatbots, apps, social media, and other self-service channels.

TechSee Live ships with a software development kit to enable screen sharing and access to a range of open APIs, and it plays nicely with smart glasses from “leading manufacturers.” On the privacy side of the equation, TechSee says that customers must approve connections for each help session (which can be paused or terminated at any time), that the platform complies with data protection legislation including GDPR, and that it doesn’t collect customers’ phone numbers or use cookies.

TechSee

TechSee says its products are deployed at “hundreds” of service organizations across the globe with over 100,000 users. It’s currently engaged with companies including Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Lavazza, Liberty Global, Altice, Hitachi, and Accenture.

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“One of the very few silver linings to come out of this pandemic is that it’s accelerated adoption for our technology — in the field, at support centers, and for individual consumers,” Cohen told VentureBeat via email. “Everything is now contactless. When technicians simply aren’t allowed to enter a customer’s home to repair, say, a wireless router, or when a field technician cannot be dispatched to repair an HVAC system, both businesses and customers have to adapt … Interestingly, even now that restrictions are loosening a bit in some parts of the world and technicians can work in the field again, enterprises are completely bought into the automation. And the reason is simple: Every truck you don’t have to dispatch; every support issue you can resolve the first time; every contact center call deflection; and each time an agent’s productivity and efficiency improves spells enormous monetary savings for businesses.”

Scale Venture Partners and Planven Entrepreneur Ventures also participated in TechSee’s funding round, which brings the company’s total raised to over $50 million.

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