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AYES the accessibility provider for cities raises €1M in pre-seed funding

Willem Van de Mierop

Nov 29, 2022

The €1M investment will allow an additional 70 million people to access the service.

AYES today announced a €1M investment led by Id4 Ventures and international angel investors. AYES is a company that focuses on the global $48B smart mobility market, by leveraging AI software to define the next accessibility standard for cities. Their solution will not only make cities more accessible for visually impaired residents but will also help cities save infrastructure cost and help generate more traffic to retails.

Cities all over the world face an enormous challenge in increasing their accessibility. Making one intersection accessible for visually impaired people costs $50.000 on average. Consequently, the adoption rate of this infrastructure is often below 10%. With ongoing pressure to be compliant with accessibility laws, cities are forced to take action. As an example, in 2021 New York City reached a settlement to increase their accessibility from 3% to 100% over 10 years’ time. With physical infrastructure it will require a $1B investment. 

“The technology of these audible speakers hasn’t evolved much in recent years. AYES solution provides cities an alternative to make their city 100% accessible, within a month, without any change to their current infrastructure. By implementing our solution, cities can lower their costs up to 10x.” says Michiel Janssen.

AYES’ solution leverages artificial intelligence and the smartphone camera to safely cross an intersection and get people on the right bus or tram. Smartphones are the number one tool for visually impaired people for all kinds of tasks. “Current technological advances in artificial intelligence also enable us to process our algorithms locally on the phone. This means that our software can be used without any WiFi or cellular connection, providing a fast, efficient and reliable tool to get around.” says Vincent Janssen 

“We believe that putting AYES’ advanced technology in the hands of millions of users will help them enjoy their cities as much as any other citizen. AYES has the perfect solution for visually impaired people as we see increased expectations on inclusion and accessibility.” says Ivan Petrovic, Partner at Id4 Ventures.

AYES has already helped cross 200.000 streets in cities such as Tokyo, Paris, London, Munich and Madrid. The solution is being used in 20+ countries. “It’s fascinating to see how much the community is talking about our application. Just by word of mouth we’ve gathered 1000 users in Japan, with zero marketing effort on our side.” says Willem Van de Mierop

The €1M investment will allow an additional 70 million people to access the service.

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