Overview: Improved Manufacturing with AI

Overview’s platform uses AI technology to better manufacturing operations

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Today’s manufacturers face numerous challenges, including skilled worker shortages, high production costs, and compliance concerns. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) technology can address many of these concerns. According to a McKinsey study, by 2030, AI is expected to create $13 trillion of realized value for the world’s economy. Within manufacturing specifically, companies have added AI solutions to streamline their core production processes.

Alumni Ventures portfolio company Overview is taking advantage of this attractive market opportunity. The company is backed by a team with 30 years of manufacturing experience (many from Tesla), whose first-hand exposure to the challenges plaguing the manufacturing process inspired the launch of Overview. As a result of industry pain points, the company created a platform that uses deep learning technology to detect defects on factory lines, aggregate data across facilities, and improve manufacturing operations to increase customer productivity and reduce waste.

Addressing Old & New Problems

Manufacturing companies across all industries are facing both old and new bottlenecks. For example, computer vision systems are routinely built with outdated software and have a limited number of use cases. As a result, the manufacturing process at many companies still includes many human inspectors, and defect rates remain a significant source of costs and product loss.

Overview’s solution uses deep learning computer vision deployed on top of fully remote managed hardware. As a result, Overview’s platform reduces the number of human inspectors by 60%, captures more defects, and solves more complex tasks. In addition, centralized data allows Overview to continuously automate the improvement of algorithms, with each new use case requiring less data to achieve the desired outcome. 

Competitive Moats & Successful Go-to-Market Strategy

Although other notable companies in the AI manufacturing space offer a software-first solution, Overview’s software-first product doesn’t require a technical team to implement. While competitors focus on convincing customers to develop their own in-house AI teams to support their platforms, Overview works with its partners to provide turnkey solutions with no on-site expertise required. 

Overview’s go-to-market strategy follows a “land-and-expand” approach, meaning Overview secures a contract with a company and then works to expand the agreement to more of that company’s facilities over time. To date, Overview has successfully either expanded customer engagements or is engaged in contract expansion negotiations with nine of its 11 customers.

Experienced Team & How We Are Involved

Overview’s CEO and Co-Founder Chris Van Dyke has over 16 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise. Before Overview, Chris served in several senior manufacturing engineering positions at Tesla — leading the 80-person battery design team from the initial battery concept to the product launch and finally to the high-volume production of Tesla’s Model 3. The entire Overview team draws from a combined 30 years of manufacturing experience.

Green D Ventures (for the Dartmouth community) sponsored Alumni Ventures’ investment in Overview’s $10 million Series A alongside sibling fund Castor Ventures (for the MIT community). Blumberg Capital led the round with participation from GV, Momenta, and Bain Capital. We were brought into the deal by lead investor Stanton Green (Dartmouth ‘89).

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