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Hayden AI Raises $20M, Its Third Investment Round in a Year

The startup, only two years old, has now raised more than $30 million from investors. Amid its rapid growth, the company is looking at expanding its traffic automation platform toward self-driving vehicles.

A line of parked buses.
Hayden AI*, a company that uses mobile sensors to perform automatic traffic enforcement activities and data collection, has raised its third investment round in a year.

The company’s $20 million Series A round follows two seed rounds worth a combined $9.5 million in October 2020 and May 2021. Completing so many rounds in a year is unusual for such a young startup — Hayden AI was founded in 2019 — but the company has achieved a rapid upward trajectory in many ways.

Aside from the money it’s raised, Hayden has also brought on leaders and advisers with nationally established reputations such as former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former Washington state CIO Stuart McKee. It’s also formed a partnership with the publicly traded company Conduent to use its curb management system.

The company’s early work is essentially mounting cameras on buses which capture data that can be used in various ways. For example, the cameras can identify vehicles blocking dedicated bus lanes, and then back-end systems can send a citation to the driver.

But Hayden’s ambitions go much farther. In a press release announcing the seed round, the company laid out a plan to use sensors to continuously gather data on streets such as where stop signs are, bike and bus lanes, no-stopping zones and more. That can be turned into a policy data set that the company could then provide to mapping companies — and even self-driving vehicles, which could use the information as they drive.

“This round led by TYH Ventures will fuel the continued growth and expansion of our autonomous traffic management platform,” said Chris Carson, founder and CEO of Hayden AI, in the statement. “With this new infusion of capital, we will scale our operations to meet growing national and international demand, capitalizing on big data from connected technologies to address urban city challenges by making traffic flow more safe, reliable and sustainable.”

Aside from TYH, the round included participation from Autotech Ventures, BootstrapLabs and Modern Venture Partners.

*An arm of e.Republic, Government Technology’s parent company, has invested in Hayden AI.