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Checkfirst Secures a big $1.5M in Pre-Seed Funding to Enhance Remote Inspections and Audits with AI

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 10, 2024
Checkfirst Secures $1.5M in Pre-Seed Funding to Enhance Remote Inspections and Audits with AI

Checkfirst Secures a big $1.5M in Pre-Seed Funding to Enhance Remote Inspections and Audits with AI

In the complex world of Testing, Inspection, Certification, and Compliance (TICC), the figure of an inspector with a clipboard is familiar. These professionals meticulously check that safety and operational protocols, such as fire extinguisher readiness and functioning lights, are up to standard. However, the traditional methods of conducting these vital inspections are undergoing a significant transformation, spearheaded by innovative startups like Checkfirst.

The inception of Checkfirst was marked by a practical challenge faced by Ben Lambert, the founder, after relocating to Portugal. Lambert, whose background includes positions at Nexmo and Agora, encountered difficulties in managing his wife’s property inspection business remotely. The process of conducting on-site inspections and generating reports was sluggish and fraught with inefficiencies—a final report could take weeks to finalize. Additionally, the task of scheduling inspections proved to be just as cumbersome, revealing a gap in the market ripe for innovation.

Recognizing the potential for improvement, Lambert launched Checkfirst, an AI-powered startup aimed at streamlining the TICC processes. Checkfirst introduces a suite of workflow tools that facilitate remote inspections and optimize the scheduling of inspectors based on their geographical location and specific qualifications. This approach not only simplifies logistics but also significantly reduces the environmental impact of travel and boosts employee satisfaction.

Checkfirst’s novel approach quickly garnered attention and backing, leading to a successful pre-seed funding round of $1.5 million. The round was led by Lisbon-based venture firm Olisipo Way and Hiero VC, with additional participation from Notion Capital and angel investors from companies like Source Point, Busuu, Swogo, and FaceIT. This funding underscores the confidence in Checkfirst’s potential to disrupt the traditional TICC sector.

The core innovation of Checkfirst lies in its use of artificial intelligence to overcome the industry’s significant challenge: efficient scheduling. Lambert explained that while data capture is crucial, the real financial gains or losses hinge on the ability to schedule tasks effectively. AI plays a pivotal role here, enabling seamless scheduling that drastically cuts down unnecessary travel and associated costs.

For instance, if an inspector based in London is required in Munich, Checkfirst’s AI-driven tools can coordinate and optimize this by assessing current needs and inspector locations, potentially saving thousands of euros in operational costs.

  • AI-driven scheduling: Streamlines the process of assigning inspectors to tasks based on location and availability, minimizing travel and costs.
  • Remote inspection capabilities: Enables inspectors to perform their duties without being on-site, thus speeding up the compliance process.
  • Data collection and management: Utilizes AI to gather and analyze compliance data efficiently, ensuring standards are met across the board.
  • Proprietary AI models: Focuses on developing bespoke AI solutions for image recognition and task scheduling, enhancing the accuracy and reliability of inspections.

Checkfirst enters a space with established players like Intact Systems, Lumiform, Safety Culture, and Happy Co. However, Lambert highlights that Checkfirst sets itself apart with its API-first approach and its focus on automating the compliance process through advanced image recognition and AI-driven report generation.

As the company advances, it continues to refine its technology and expand its offerings. Currently, Checkfirst is engaged with several clients on proof-of-concept projects, one of which boasts 30,000 customers, indicating significant market interest and potential for scale.

The integration of AI into the TICC industry by companies like Checkfirst is more than a technological upgrade—it is a redefinition of how compliance and inspections are conducted globally. By prioritizing efficiency, sustainability, and employee satisfaction, Checkfirst not only addresses the immediate needs of the industry but also sets a new standard for the future of global compliance practices.

This transformation spearheaded by Lambert and his team at Checkfirst, supported by strategic investors, is a testament to the evolving landscape of industry-specific solutions driven by AI and technology. As Checkfirst continues to develop and deploy its innovative tools, it stands at the forefront of a major shift towards more agile and intelligent compliance systems worldwide.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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