Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Machine Learning Startup Spectral Edge Raises £3.7M


Spectral Edge uses machine learning to improve the quality of pictures taken on consumer devices. (via Spectral Edge)

Cambridge-based company Spectral Edge has raised £3.7 million in a Series A round, led from Parkwalk Advisors and IQ Capital, which had already invested in the company in the past.

The company has developed a machine learning tool that can improve the quality of photos and videos on consumer devices in real-time.

For instance, it could be used to ameliorate images taken on smartphones of drone cameras— but also security cameras— in low light. The startup was launched in 2014, as a spin-out of an academic project at the University of East Anglia.

The company is now going to use the fresh tranche of cash to further commercialise its technology, and to expand its 12-people R&D team— hiring experts in  image processing, machine learning and embedded software development. It could also develop a smartphone app.

Earlier this month, Spectral Edge had revealed to have found its first customer: IT services provider NTT data will adopt the technology as a feature of its broadcast infrastructure offering . That would allow its customers better image quality on the same hardware.

“We are in advanced trials with a number of global tech companies — household names — and hope to be able to announce more deals later this year,” Spectral Edge  CEO Rhodri Thomas told TechCrunch.

He added that, when it comes to launching the technology on smartphones : “right now there is no real solution for white balancing across the whole image — so you’ll get areas of the image with excessive blues or yellows, perhaps, because the balance is out — but our tech allows this to be solved elegantly and with great results. We also can support bokeh processing by eliminating artifacts that are common in these images.”

“In a year, I expect our technology to be launched or launching on major flagship [smartphone] devices,” Thomas added.

“We also believe that by then our CVD (color vision deficiency) product, Eyeteq, is helping millions of people suffering from color blindness to enjoy significantly better video experiences.”


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