High-Speed Package Inspection Startup Spectrohm Raises $2 Million in Seed Funding, Led by HCVC
Development of world's first autonomous package inspection solution takes critical step forward with investment
MCLEAN, Va., May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Spectrohm, a company building next-generation inspection solutions for mail and packages, announced today that it recently closed $2.0 million in seed funding. The recent round was led by HCVC, with additional investment from Good Growth Capital, RavenTek, J. Hunt Holdings, Dragon Ventures, and Klein Venture Partners.
Spectrohm is developing a breakthrough non-intrusive threat identification technology that will address the cost, safety, and throughput limitations that have plagued past systems. Unlike x-ray-based technologies, Spectrohm's patented radio wave system doesn't use harmful ionizing radiation. This eliminates the regulatory need for a human operator to ensure radiation safety and will enable a future generation of autonomous high-speed screening solutions.
The close of the seed round builds off momentum Spectrohm has achieved through awards from US government customers such as the Air Force. "This new cargo scanning technoogy is going to change the game for the Aerial Ports in the Air Force," said 1st Lt Brent Wilken, 436th Aerial Port Squadron, Flight Commander Passenger and Fleet Services. "This technology will expedite our processing of more than 200,000 pieces of cargo annually and ensure safety of flight for a base that generates 5,000 air missions per year. Dover AFB currently runs the channel missions to the Middle East for the DoD and is acquiring the European Channels this summer, which will put this new product to the test."
Aymerik Renard, General Partner at HCVC, commented: "Until now, inspecting items for potential threats has been human-centric and labor intensive, and plagued by 'false alarms' – all of which creates enormous costs and bottlenecks and makes comprehensive security inspection at scale and high volumes practically impossible. Spectrohm overcomes those challenges with disruptive imaging and material analysis technology that can enable applications such as 100% inspection of international mail and packages for concealed threats and narcotics. We are confident in the team at Spectrohm, and excited to support its mission to transform security screening and inspection across multiple industries."
Spectrohm's breakthrough radio wave imaging supercharges AI's ability to identify package contents such as explosives, drugs, and contraband. "Using 'long' radio wavelengths lets us both see deep and also see the radio-light colors of different materials within packages. And that gives us the capability to very quickly 'see and detect' threats with low false alarm rates – something that even the best x-ray and millimeter wave-based inspection systems struggle with," said Tim Cargol, Spectrohm's founder, CEO, and a former senior officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. "Our technique is revolutionary, but what we're building is highly feasible thanks to the maturity of the underlying technologies and advancements in sensors, manufacturing, and AI software."
Spectrohm will initially focus on security applications that align with its unique capabilities for high-volume, speed-of-commerce threat identification. One of the most important and fastest-growing of these is the need for high-speed inspection of international air-cargo packages for threats to flight safety and smuggled narcotics and opioids.
"The volume of international mail and packages coming into the US is exploding," said Maureen Stancik Boyce, PhD, Managing Partner at Good Growth Capital. "But these same packages are being used to smuggle contraband and threats such as fentanyl. Spectrohm will be the first technology that will be able to inspect a high percentage of these packages effectively."
The internal imaging addressable market opportunity is estimated to be over $50 billion. Spectrohm's goal is to steadily mature its core technologies and to integrate them into a variety of inspection modalities, not only in physical security, but also in industrial inspection and non-destructive testing.
"Autonomous, speed-of-commerce inspection is the future of commercial and government security, and I believe Spectrohm's technology can deliver this capability at a cost and scale that customers are coming to realize they need," said Scott N. Miller, Managing Director of Dragon Ventures. "I look forward to supporting them in this groundbreaking effort."
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SOURCE Spectrohm, Inc.