Text in the AI-gen images still needs some work, but quality and variety are impressiveRead more...
It's now AI versus the black hole of lost belongings
If you thought AI could surprise no longer, here is one more surprising application of the technology: finding lost objects. This two-year-old startup called Boomerang is finally applying AI to something useful – the Lost & Found space. And the solution has attracted some big investors.
Last week, Boomerang celebrated scoring $4.9 million in funding to boost its growth trajectory. Leading the round was Wall Street-analysts-turned-VC LightShed Ventures, based in New York City. Other investment firms were 23-year-old venture giant GGV in Menlo Park, GoldHouse focusing on Asian Pacific founders, Harlo Capital based in Toronto, Dream Ventures in Las Vegas, leAD’s Lake Nona Sports & Health Tech Fund, and SeventySix Capital.
Boomerang also attracted some prominent angel investors such as musicians Drake and Mike Dirnt, visionary founder of Equinox Lavinia Errico, and NFL stars Kenny Clark, Odell Beckham Jr., and Christian Kirk.
Luggage lost between flights; packages vanished from one country index to another; electronic devices forgotten on store counters; car keys and wallets fallen out of mischievous pockets; designer eyewear left pretty much anywhere; passports and wedding rings: these losses take days if not weeks to locate or replace, if at all possible. Addressing this black hole market and meeting the needs of people of all origins and mindsets, Boomerang has built a digital platform that connects you with your lost items.
At this point, I see many a reader of this story slapping their foreheads wishing this technology was at hand back when she or he had that most valuable possession long lost now (and, hopefully, that was not a living being). I sure wish I could get those three Apple Pencils back.
The Miami-based startup was founded by Skyler Logsdon, Augustine Diep-Tran, and Philip Inghelbrecht in late 2021. All three are coming from leadership roles at successful companies – Shazam, Youtube, TrueCar, Tatari, and YourMechanic.
Overall, Boomerang has raised $7.7 million to date. The new funds, as CEO Logsdon said in a release, will help the company meet the growing demand as it expands, increases its head count and enhances its platform.
Boomerang services airports, sports stadiums, hospitals, hotels, and theme parks. Among its clients are Universal Studios, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Nissan Stadium, State Farm Arena, Margaritaville Resort, Encore Resort at the Reunion, The Dalmar, and airports in Savannah/Hilton Head and Syracuse Hancock.
As Logsdon also said, “One of the biggest frustrations when losing something is the severe fragmentation of where your item may be. By consolidating all found inventory onto the Boomerang platform, every business can join us in solving the consumer fragmentation problem, allowing for a seamless recovery experience on Boomerang.”
The platform positions itself as the easiest way to manage Lost & Found, starting with quick logging of the item’s details to matching found items on autopilot. That’s where machine learning comes in – it’s the AI-powered tool that finds the match for you. It promises a user-friendly experience and automatically sends updates on the lost items, decreasing the workload on venue staff.
Some standout finds that Boomerang helped return to their owners were a hearing aid at the Browns Stadium, a gentleman’s wedding ring at SAV airport, Ryobi power tools and a Yamaha keyboard at CVG airport, a Boombox 3-foot portable speaker with dual subwoofers at Margaritaville Resort, and an Apple Watch at Universal. I can imagine the joy that returned wedding ring caused the owner (and his wife).
“The pervasive frustration of losing something and never seeing it again is an experience that is way too common not to have a great solution for today,” LightShed Ventures’ Xavier Parkmond said in a statement. “Boomerang’s comprehensive platform solves this bothersome problem with sophisticated and cutting-edge technology, turning item recovery into a magical experience. Boomerang represents the future of technology to help people recover what matters most.”
According to Business Research Insights, the Lost & Found software market was worth $60.3 million in 2022 and is estimated to reach $244 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 14.5%. The market is driven by the surge in the number of high-worth commercial goods per consumer and the capabilities of advanced technology in this space.
Images used in part from: Boomerang, Rawpixel
Support VatorNews by Donating
Read more from our "Trends and news" series
Streamline your marketing campaigns, client communication, project management - with AI assistanceRead more...
The San Francisco company readies to reveal its first clinical study results in the near termRead more...