In the era of georeenforced videos and images, digital maps and geographic information systems (GIS), mobile mapping has come into its own. Usually done in a vehicle of some sort and employing such remote sensing systems technologies as GNSS, photographic, radar, laser, or LiDAR, mobile mapping is very much a part of our lives these days and will continue to be for a long time to come.
Knowing the commercial opportunities are out there to service this new way of mapping the world, NavVis — a German company founded in 2013 by Felix Reinshagen, Georg Schroth, Robert Huitl, and Sebastian Hilsenbeck — is “bridging the gap between the physical and digital world, enabling service providers and enterprises to capture and share the built environment as photorealistic digital twins.”
With headquarters in Munich, Germany and offices in New York and Shanghai, NavVis’ SLAM-based mobile mapping systems generate high-quality data with survey-grade accuracy at speed and scale.
The company has three products:
• The NavVis VLX
a mobile mapping system designed for laser scanning and AEC professionals that enables high-quality reality capture of complex buildings and construction sites
• The NavVis M6
an indoor mobile mapping system on wheels that enables fast scanning with minimal disruption in commercial and industrial environments where every second of downtime counts
• The NavVis IVION
a spatial data where owners, operators and contractors can transform buildings and assets into intelligent spaces, turning customers’ reality capture data into a digital twin for smart collaboration and decision making, and close the gap between the physical and digital world
The products can perform surveying and laser scanning for verticals such as architecture, engineering and construction while, at the same time, offering transparency, fast scanning and competitiveness.
NavVis has raised an incredible $96.4 million in funding over eight rounds. The company’s latest funding round, a €25 million Venture Series Unknown round led by Cipio Partners, with additional capital from previous investors, BayBG, MIG, Target Partners, Digital+ Partners, and Kozo Keikaku Engineering, was completed in December 2021.
On the funding, NavVis CEO and Co-founder, Felix Reinshagen, said: “We are excited to have the experienced and tech-savvy team from Cipio Partners leading this funding round. And we are proud of the vote of confidence from our existing investors who all also contributed. Spatial data is a fundamental building block for digital twin technology and many industrial applications. Augmented reality and the metaverse need spatial data at scale to fulfill their promise. This new funding will allow us and our customers to capture and work with spatial data at unseen scale and utility.”
Along with the VC money NavVis has secured since its founding, the four co-founders, in turn, bring their unique experiences and academic backgrounds to make NavVis a success.
Felix Reinshagen is CEO and a NavVis Co-Founder. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Company while living in New York, Palo Alto, Hamburg, and Munich. Before that Reinshagen worked as a software engineer and IT architect. Reinshagen also sits on the Board of Air up one of the world’s fastest-growing food tech companies and is a member of the Bavarian AI Council.
Reinshagen holds degrees in Computer Science and Economics from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and a Ph.D. in Economics from St. Gallen University Switzerland.
Up next is Georg Schroth, CTO and another NavVis Co-Founder. Schroth started the company based on his experience in positioning systems gained during his stay at the Stanford Global Positioning Laboratory and the Information Systems Laboratory as a graduate visiting researcher at Stanford University.
Schroth obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from Technische Universität München.
Robert Huitl is Head of NavVis IVION and a NavVis Co-Founder. With vast experience in open-source and commercial software development, Huitl is a lead developer behind NavVis’ 3D mapping and computer-vision-based navigation technology.
Huitl co-authored the core technology behind NavVis’ mapping and localization software during his Ph.D. and won the Kurt-Fischer-Award while pursuing his master thesis on computing.
Lastly, we have Sebastian Hilsenbeck, Head of Positioning and Mobile and a NavVis and the fourth Co-Founder. Previously, he worked as a research associate toward his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) focusing on computer vision and machine learning applied to visual positioning and tracking, augmented reality, and indoor navigation.
He received his MS degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from TUM and a second MS degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.
As one of the best-funded deep tech startups in Europe, NavVis is well on its way to making its mark in the mobile mapping market and bringing the physical and digital worlds much closer to each other.