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3D geospatial analytics startup with Bulgarian roots Enview gets acquired by an industry leader

San Gunawardana (left) and Krassimir Piperkov (right) - co-founders of Enview
Image credit: San Gunawardana (left) and Krassimir Piperkov (right) - co-founders of Enview
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The 3D spatial analytics startup Enview, co-founded by a Bulgarian and backed by the Bulgarian venture capital firm BrightCap Ventures, was recently fully acquired by US NASDAQ-listed spatial analytics computing platform Matterport in a 50% cash/ 50% stock deal of $35.5M in cash.  

The technology and the experienced team of Enview will strengthen the value proposition of Matterport’s data platform by providing current clients with powerful property insights and analytics and advanced business intelligence for any physical space. Matterport will now be able to accelerate the development of its spatial data analytics platform that combines 3D management of physical spaces with insights and building intelligence. 

“The Enview team created a truly remarkable 3D AI technology that we have used to automate processing and analytics for Fortune 500 clients and the biggest US Government Agencies. Now the team and technology can take advantage of Matterport’s unparalleled access to data on the biggest asset in the world – buildings – and accelerate the extraction of insights from digitized spaces,” Krassimir Piperkov, former COO of Enview, shared in social media. 

“The acquisition of Enview by a multi-billion global leader in spatial analytics is a testament to the excellence of the digital twinning technology the company has built and the pedigree of the team who have been appointed to lead the datafication and R&D efforts,” Elina Halatcheva, Managing Partner at BrightCap Ventures says. 

3D data analytics with no limitation

Co-founded in 2015 by two Stanford alumni, the Bulgarian Krassimir Piperkov and the American San Gunawardana, Enview develops 3D geospatial analytics solutions. This means that the deep tech company uses data from different sources to create 3D models of the real world which are also known as digital twins. 

Enview helps governments improve national security and allows energy businesses to monitor the condition of critical infrastructures such as roads and pipelines by creating 3D real-world mappings. In addition, Enview’s software engine automates the data analysis process and decreases the time and the manual labor needed for the analysis of satellite and air patrol data. 

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The startup combines AI technology with an enterprise platform that allows complex workflows to be automated for large datasets. Enview performs object recognition, feature-based change detection, 2D and 3D measurement.  

The story of Enview

The successful journey of the startup is based on an interesting founding story. The co-founder and CEO, San Gunawardana, traveled to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army after graduating from Stanford with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. There he created prototypes of various tools that detected bombs and other threats with the goal to save lives. Finding out how the US military uses LiDAR technology to create 3D digital twins of large areas, he realized the potential for the technique to be used for commercial purposes.

More specifically, he believed that 3D data collection was about to become widely democratized allowing routine 3D high-resolution scans at a large scale. With this, the idea to use AI to automate the data analysis process was born, and after returning from Afghanistan, San reached out to Krassimir Piperkov who brought years-long experience in business development and entrepreneurship. Together they created Enview with the vision to become a leading provider of scalable AI technology for 3D point clouds and help people easily navigate a fast-changing world. 

Enview’s traction and future development

In the 6 years it has been operational as a separate entity, Enview has raised a total of $20.5M in three funding rounds, the last one being a $12M post-Series A round in 2020 led by BrightCap Ventures. After the investment, the founders shared plans for setting up a Bulgarian R&D team in the near future but the plans were not realized for the short time before the acquisition.

Elina Halatcheva shares that the acquisition interest came from Matterport’s team who believe that datafication will bring their customer service to the next level. Combining Enview’s 3D AI technology with Matterport’s rich spatial data would allow them to provide more valuable insights to customers from an ever-increasing number of industries. 

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Now, after the acquisition, San Gunawardana becomes General Manager of Datafication at Matterport, while Piperkov assumes the role of Head of Operations and R&D. 

“We turn buildings into data, and for the next decade of growth, our focus centers on unlocking the power of that data for our customers around the world. Enview’s powerful spatial data analysis technology fits right into this strategy and readily complements the Matterport platform. Together, we can deliver breakthrough building analysis and data insights to our customers including automated building inspections, AI-powered space planning, and property utilization analysis to deliver operating efficiencies in a completely digital environment,” RJ Pittman, CEO of Matterport said in a press release. 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.