A startup in artificial intelligence (AI) for the visual inspection of aircraft engines – Aiir Innovations – has raised €2.1 million in an oversubscribed investment round.
Aiir Innovations was founded in 2016 by a group of students from the University of Amsterdam. Entering the aviation software market, it is now working with companies like KLM Airlines, Waygate Technologies and MTU Leasing Services, among others. Recently, Aiir Innovations was selected for the Boeing-supported Aerospace Xelerated programme and won the Lufthansa Technik Philippines Startup Challenge.
The investment round was led by Dutch-based venture capital fund Borski Fund, with the participation of HearstLab Europe and existing shareholder Mainport Innovation Fund, an initiative of Royal Schiphol Group, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delft University of Technology, the Dutch Railways and the Port of Amsterdam, in collaboration with fund manager NBI Investors.
“Ensuring jet engines are inspected completely and objectively is key to ensuring the safety and efficiency of aircraft. Aiir achieves this by actively supporting human inspectors in all aspects of the job, from managing reporting requirements to an AI assistant for detecting potentially missed defects,” said Aiir Innovations’ CTO & co-founder Miriam Huijser.
With its software, Aiir Innovations supports inspections across the lifecycle of the engine, during maintenance, lease transitions, and more.
Aiir Innovations said it would use the investment to “grow its remote-first team and expand globally, and set a new standard for engine inspections”. Bart Vredebregt, CEO & co-founder, commented: “We are excited to work with investors that have a global reach and share our vision on company culture and diversity.”
Simone Brummelhuis, partner at Borski Fund, said: “We are thrilled to announce our investment in Aiir, a company at the forefront of the aerospace industry’s integration of artificial intelligence. This new investment is a testament to our belief in the potential of Aiir to drive innovation and progress in the field and our commitment to supporting diversity in the companies in which we invest.”
Eve Burton, executive vice president of Hearst Corporation & chairwoman of HearstLab, commented: “HearstLab is delighted to have participated in Aiir’s successful funding raise. We were extremely impressed with the Aiir management team and the product offering they have built and marketed in a relatively short period. The importance of Aiir’s potential contribution to air safety globally cannot be understated, and we are honoured to be on that journey with them. As an investor focused on female-led startups, we were particularly drawn to Aiir because of the strong presence of female leadership on the technology and product side with deep AI knowledge and experience. We look forward to collaborating closely with the management team and other investors to continue Aiir’s path to growth and success.”