CrowdScan provides accurate and privacy-friendly crowd measurement data
Antwerp, 22 June 2021 - Crowdscan, the Belgian science-driven technology startup specialised in crowd analytics, has successfully completed its funding round. Its unique proposition, which comprises technology for accurate crowd management respecting individual privacy, is backed by its key investors Qbic, The Cronos Group and imec.istart. Thanks to a capital injection of EUR 800,000, Crowdscan is looking forward with confidence, with upcoming projects, further innovations and new hires.
While worldwide evolutions show that monitoring and managing crowds has become more crucial than ever, there is also a growing concern for privacy, resulting in ethical debates and appropriate legislation. Combining the vast expertise of IMEC and UAntwerpen, Crowdscan now has technology that meets both demands.
Ben Bellekens (CEO of Crowdscan): “Our technology measures the average attenuation of a wireless sensor network relative to the empty environment to estimate crowd density, flow, and fluxes. It enables highly accurate measurements and real-time processing, with respect for privacy and without gaining any personal information whatsoever. As no smartphone data or cameras are used, we can combine accurate crowd monitoring with full anonymity.”
Crowdscan can already look back at some key achievements, which proved the efficacy of its technology and managed to convince investors Qbic, The Cronos Group and imec.istart. While various tests - both in Belgium and internationally – were successful, new strategic partnerships are also in the pipeline. Strengthened by the capital injection, Crowdscan can now fully focus on realizing its growth ambitions and bringing its unique technology to customers in various categories. Anton Dierickx (Business Developer & Sales Crowd Safety Expert of Crowdscan): “We will aim for the internationalisation of our activities and – with that goal in mind – engage in international partnerships and integrations. We will also upscale our hardware and target our services at specific sectors – from cities to public venues and city events.”
Moreover, the investments enable Crowdscan to expand its team on the short term, including 5 additional FTE hires - profiles that will primarily focus on both business and technological development.
Lead investor (Qbic), Cédric Van Nevel: “Our first interactions with Crowdscan date from over 18 months ago. It’s great to see how the team has evolved by further developing the technology as well as grasping the opportunities created by the increasing awareness of the importance of crowd analytics, from event management to mobility planning. Crowdscan is recognised by industry experts to bring an unprecedented level of accuracy, without compromising on privacy issues. As
lead investor, we therefore look forward to support the growth of Crowdscan as a leader in crowd management solutions.”
Co-lead investor (The Cronos Group), Wim Bijnens : “We are excited to support CrowdScan in accelerating its growth and are looking forward to commit to the entrepreneurial DNA of the team. Our ecosystem will enable CrowdScan to realize its ambitions in the growing domain of crowd management and analytics, with its implications for the safety and privacy of citizens.”
Crowdscan will enter the market in phased steps. In a first phase, the startup will focus on the further (international) commercialisation of its successful crowd management platform within the Smart Cities concept – with solutions for e.g. busy shopping streets, tourist hotspots, event zones, parks and squares. True value will subsequently be created by linking the platform’s data with other data sources, resulting in meaningful and well-founded policy decisions.
"The Crowdscan team has managed to translate its unique technology into a real product very quickly, solving customer needs. The need for crowd management olutions has received increased awareness during the COVID pandemic, and a growing number of actors starts to see its full potential in various settings. As first investor in Crowdscan, we're happy to continue the journey with them in the next steps towards an accelerated market introduction." says Sven De Cleyn, imec.istart Program Director.
In parallel, the potential of the technology within Smart Mobility is further valorised. A first proof of concept within the public transport sector has already been initiated, with a focus on (real-time) crowd measurements on metro platforms.