L-R: Stephen Remde, Paula Claytonsmith and Steve Birdsall
L-R: Stephen Remde, Paula Claytonsmith and Steve Birdsall
Richard Bell

BGF invests £2.7m in Lancaster-based highways tech company

Highways technology business Gaist has secured a £2.7m investment from BGF.

The Lancaster-based company will use the seven-figure boost to further expand its roadscape services.

Gaist captures and analyses high-definition imagery of the UK’s road conditions and highways network – all 900x more detailed than the images used in Google Maps.

It has developed its technology, called HighwayView, into software that can be imported into the asset management systems of highways network operators, councils, mapping companies, major utilities and other blue-chip businesses.

The BGF funding will enable Gaist’s directors to accelerate its roadscape information and machine learning research within HighwayView.

It will also expand its teams to support customer growth across multiple sectors and countries.

Gaist’s founder and CEO, Steve Birdsall, said: “Domestic demand for our services continues to grow. At the same time, we are delighted to see our AI-driven technology gain international recognition. Both of these areas represent significant opportunities.

“While we continue to focus on working with Highways Departments, we are increasingly working with private sector organisations and utility companies who have never before been able to access the deep learning analysis that we are able to provide.”

He continued: “To date, we have self-funded investment into the company and in collecting and productising our data sets. Bringing BGF on board as a non-controlling investor will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and respond to the growing demand for our services and expertise.”

BGF investor Pinesh Mehta commented: “Improving our roads has been a burning issue in recent months, but there is also a growing and longer-term requirement – from both the public and private sectors – for access to accurate and detailed data to better understand the behaviour and utilisation of our road networks.

“Gaist is at the forefront of this mapping technology, services and expertise, and has created a scalable business with a reputation for innovation and delivery. We are delighted to be backing Steve and the team as they implement their ambitious UK and international growth plans.”

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