New York based Urban-X Accelerator invests $150K in


Hades, a Zurich based startup that uses artificial intelligence to improve urban sewers inspection videos, has been selected to join the Urban-X accelerator in New York. The accelerator will invest up to $150,000 in Hades in addition to provide support and guidance in developing their product.


Under nearly every road, there is a sewer whereby in the US and Europe alone, there are about 2.4 million miles of public sewers with an average age of 45 years in the US. Moreover, the drains were designed to last 50-80 years. However, the growing urbanisation, climate change, which is characterised by several rainy events, the infrastructure is at risk of collapsing. 

Founded in as a spinoff of ETH Zurich, Hades developed a technology based on artificial intelligence to identify cracks, defects, and blocks in sewers. Unlike existing solutions that involve several manual tasks such as recording visual footage, inspection, and analysis, Hades’ solution conducts these tasks automatically, generating objective and comparable results that are less prone to error. 

As revealed to Forbes, Dominik Boller, a co-founder of Hades said that most sewers are inaccessible, yet visual footage recorded during a visual inspection using a remotely controlled vehicle with a camera is still the main source for decision-making regarding maintenance. The Hades solutions will, therefore, help to reduce time wastage, errors. As the databank expands, the company will be able to identify the need for repairs to prevent pollution and leaky lines. 

Adding to the received Investment of $600,000 obtained from Climate-KICHades will receive new funds of $150’000 from the Urban-X accelerator,MINI-backed urban tech startup accelerator in Brooklyn, New York. The accelerator offers a 20-week program to selected startups enabling them to develop their solutions with a focus on customer development, product development in preparation for fundraising. Additionally, the startups will get access to Urban-X’s network comprising more than 2000 mentors and potential partners who will support the startups in the development of their products. 

The startup technology is currently available in Switzerland and Germany and the entry into the Urban-X accelerator could open doors into the US market.