Foresight's Rail Vision mulls Nasdaq IPO

Israel Railways

Rail Vision warns train drivers about objects two kilometers away using image processing technology.

Rail Vision is considering an IPO on Nasdaq. Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. (TASE: FRST), which owns 24.8% of Rail Vision's share plus options that will increase its stake to 39% if fully exercised, reported to the TASE today that Rail Vision's board of directors was considering the offering.

Rail Vision, founded in 2015, works on preventing traffic accidents and autonomous driving systems for railways. The company has developed an innovative cognitive vision system based on image processing technology. The system is designed to warn the locomotive driver about obstacles on the railway tracks in any weather and lighting conditions, using special cameras to detect objects.

Since the average braking distance for a moving high-speed train is 800-1,200 meters, detecting obstacles ahead of time is very important for reducing the number of accidents and injuries caused by railways.

Rail Vision's most recent financing round was in April, when it raised $5 million at a company value of $20 million, before money. The company initially planned to raise only $3 million, but took advantage of strong demand to expand the round. Located in Ra'anana, Rail Vision has 40 employees.

Foresight, which develops advanced driving auxiliary systems, invested $1.4 million in Rail Vision in 2016 at a value of $2.4 million, before money.

Investors in the April financing round included the Shrem Zilberman Group, which led the round; the Lubinski group; Itzhak Swary; the Final founders; and a Swiss investment bank. The money raised is designated for completing development of the company's prototype, which is scheduled to be installed on locomotives in 2018.

Rail Vision now hopes to raise $20-30 million in its IPO at a company value of $100-150 million, before money.

Foresight co-CEO and COO Ariel Dor, who is responsible for the connection and activity with Rail Vision, told "Globes" in June, "There are huge damages every year estimated in the billions of dollars resulting from accidents involving trains. The average locomotive requires 800-1,000 meters to stop, and Rail Vision's system is able to see for a distance of two kilometers, and also beyond the bends and curves in the track.

"Railways pay $400 million a year in Germany alone for various delays and damages. More than 99% of the world's railway infrastructure is unmonitored. The solution is to station a system on the locomotive with sensors and a number of lenses that is able to operate in all weather conditions and in absolute darkness, with software capable of analyzing the input. That is what Rail Vision's system provides."

"Globes": What is special about Rail Vision's system?

Dor: "This is the first, and the only, company in the world to install such a system on the roof of a locomotive. There were attempts by giant companies, such as Siemens, to provide solutions, but they failed. The system is able to provide a large amount of information about the state of the locomotives, the state of the infrastructure, and maintenance of the tracks, whether there are worn parts that have to replaced, and so forth. We want to be the Waze, the Mobileye, and the Google of the railways."

Does the company have registered patents?

"There are six patents in the advanced registration process before approval. It is necessary to realize that the railway industry is going the way of the auto industry, but 10 years behind. Rail Vision is today the only company putting cameras on locomotives in Europe and Israel. It is collecting information, and we have already done a number of tests in Israel, Italy, and Germany. In Germany, for example, the railways company has 340,000 employees and $40 billion a year in revenue, with a $3 billion profit. This is an enormous market. We sit there with the senior management, because it is very interested in the system, and has no alternatives. 2-4 employees there are injured a day in the operating areas, and they asked us to provide them with safety information that would help reduce the injuries and accidents. We proved that the system can provide this. They were astonished by the system's capabilities."

When will you start making revenue?

"We hope to start conducting funded pilots in early 2018. The company receives queries daily…There is a great deal of international interest in the company."

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on November 8, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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