Baker Hughes takes a director’s seat, follows PepsiCo in adopting predictive maintenance software.
Energy technology firms Baker Hughes and Schneider Electric backed a $180 million series E round for Augury, a developer of machine learning software for predicting and preventing machine breakdowns.
The deal valued Augury’s business at over $1 billion and means the company is now a unicorn, the investment term for businesses with a billion-dollar valuation.
Baker Hughes led the round and was joined by Schneider Electric’s venture capital arm, Qualcomm Ventures, SE Ventures, Insight Partners, Eclipse Ventures. The deal also featured Qumra Capital, Lerer Hippeau and reinsurance firm Munich Re Ventures’ HSB Fund.
The capital is expected to help Augury expand internationally and add energy sector clients to its industry 4.0 core focus.
Baker Hughes plans to integrate the technology with its industrial sensor and asset performance management products, taking a seat on the board of directors.
Predictive maintenance platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) in tandem with machine sensors to evaluate risks of breakdowns so human personnel are prepared to respond.
The Augury platform is billed as an end-to-end technology for capturing, diagnosing and acting on machine sensor data.
It uses AI to help explain underlying causes for potential failures and has collaboration features to keep workers in the loop.
PepsiCo said last week it plans to trial worker health connected technologies, and uses the platform in its Frito-Lay potato chip factories to reduce machinery downtime and boost productivity.
Having the system in place has enabled it to collect data on heat levels in machinery, as well as vibrations and magnetic field activity, said Anna Farberov, PepsiCo’s director of technology venturing & innovation.
“This data gives us actionable insights into the health of the machines, enabling us to mitigate any potential issues before they happen,” Farberov added in the press release.