By Sébastien Labourdette
We are thrilled to participate in Monk’s latest funding round, alongside Iris Capital and key business angels including Patrick Sayer, former CEO of Eurazeo, Yannis Yahiaoui, founder of Adot, and Arthur Waller, founder of PriceMatch and Pennylane.
Tracking the condition of industrial products is expensive, time-consuming, and manual. Specifically for cars, identifying and classifying damages is a tedious, complex process, that requires high expertise. While being a complicated problem, the demand is huge. For cars alone: car-sharing and car rental platforms, insurance claims agents, car dealers and second-hand marketplaces, fleet managers… All these businesses have a need to assess the state of hundreds of vehicles per year, often requiring immediacy. It is estimated that around 5 billion inspections are performed annually!
There have been multiple approaches to unlock value in this market: picture management platforms to enable the end-user to perform image collection, AI models that learn to recognize damages, pricing models that estimate the cost of repair, etc. But very few of these models managed to translate human expertise, and they remain focused on specific use cases, where broad adoption is challenging.
The Startup That Creates Trust Whenever An Item Changes Hands
To remediate this problem, Monk has developed computer vision algorithms to evaluate damage and imperfections on non-standardized pictures with stunning accuracy. Their secret sauce: no need for any specific hardware - a regular smartphone does the job. The team has gone through extensive R&D to integrate the expert’s thinking and logic into their machine learning processes, so each trained model behaves like an expert.
The industry’s response has been extremely positive, as can be seen from Monk’s growing number of clients in car rental, sharing, insurance, and more. This impressive traction is partly due to the accuracy of its unique technology, which regularly beats industry benchmarks.
More importantly, we found in Abou, Fayçal and their colleagues an incredible team of researchers and entrepreneurs - and we have shared their vision since day one. Abou first specialized in machine learning at the École Polytechnique in France before joining UC Berkeley in California. After rubbing shoulders with entrepreneurs in VC, Abou met his cofounder Fayçal, an experienced data scientist from Thales who had studied machine learning at Centrale Supelec. Strategic advisors such as Jéremie Jakubowicz from École Polytechnique and ManoMano, and investors such as insurtech-veteran Iris Capital, now complete this world-class picture.
Monk is striving to transform the mobility and insurance market by bringing trust and efficiency along the value chain. By working hand-in-hand with its clients, Monk has been paving the way for a strong culture of breaking walls and only delivering products that solve businesses’ and users’ challenges at the highest quality. With the fresh funding, Monk will be able to double down on bringing this vision to life by boosting its R&D and fine-tuning its product-market fit internationally.
Since we started incubating the company a few months back, we have been repeatedly inspired by the team’s competence and drive as they reached decisive milestones at a vertiginous speed. We are now proud to officially welcome Monk in the Plug and Play portfolio family and are excited for what’s to come.
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