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Hayden AI Raises Second Investment Round in a Year

The startup, about two years old, has now pulled in close to $10 million in less than a year's time. Its core business concept is to mount cameras on buses and crunch the footage for valuable insights.

An empty street with five lanes, one of which is labeled "bus only."
Hayden AI, a startup seeking to pull value out of bus-mounted camera footage, has raised its second investment fundraising round in less than a year.

The $4.5 million funding round follows a $5 million seed round the company announced in October, bringing Hayden’s total fundraising to $9.5 million.

The company is only about two years old but has moved quickly to grow its reputation and resources — on top of the investment rounds, Hayden has staffed up with big names such as former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who sits on the company’s board, and former Washington state CIO Stuart McKee, who serves as chief operating officer.

Hayden has also partnered with Conduent to bring forward an early use case for its cameras: automated bus lane enforcement. By mounting cameras on the sides of buses and then running the footage through AI algorithms, the company hopes to give transit operators a way to find people illegally blocking dedicated bus lanes.

The company has been exploring other possible uses for AI video crunching. Those possibilities include finding areas that are especially prone to dangerous traffic situations, curb management and parking.

“This funding round positions Hayden AI for rapid national expansion, particularly in California, allowing us to accelerate and scale the deployment of our autonomous traffic management platform,” said Hayden AI CEO and Co-Founder Chris Carson in a press release. “We are thrilled to have investors that bring significant expertise and comprehensive industry knowledge, which is invaluable as we continue to empower smart cities around the world to end traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries while providing safe and equitable mobility for all.”

The current round was led by BootstrapLabs and included participation from MVP Partners, the University of California, Berkeley-affiliated Strawberry Creek Ventures, and e.Republic.*

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