Meet Ciarán O’Mara, Co-Founder and CTO at Safety Technology Company: Protex AI

At Protex AI, we’re helping enterprise health and safety teams to revolutionise how they make proactive decisions that help contribute to a safer work environment.

Our AI-powered technology is enabling businesses to gain greater visibility of unsafe behaviours in their facilities. The privacy-preserving platform plugs into existing CCTV infrastructure and uses its computer vision technology to capture unsafe events autonomously in settings such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities and ports.

M&S, our flagship client, reduced incidents in one of their distribution centres by 80% in just 10 weeks by enabling their safety team to identify patterns in unsafe behaviours, quickly implement training to address the issues, and improve colleague’s attitude towards safety.
Notion portfolio: Protex AI

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Dan and I met at the BT Young Scientist Competition when we were 12 years old and have kept in touch since. The company came to fruition based on a story from a close family member, an operations manager in a F500 company who spoke about a fatality that occurred on site.

Whilst reviewing CCTV clips, what seemed like a freak accident was quickly revealed to be a result of repetitive non-compliant behaviour by the worker. After months of research and interviews with EHS leaders, we identified that freak accidents aren’t so freakish.

The majority of accidents occur as a result of repetitive risk behaviour that is not identified prior to the accident. Safety is all about data, and its collection is currently incredibly manual and labour intensive. That made us wonder whether AI could be used to streamline the process, and Protex AI was born.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Since the inception of Protex AI last year, we’ve raised $18M (£16.2M) in Seed and Series-A funding. In addition to lead investment by Notion Capital, several existing and new investors have also participated, including firstminute capital and investments from Flexport and SCOR Ventures.

What started as a personal project for myself and Dan has grown into a 23-person strong company, working with M&S and other blue-chip brands and we’re hoping to expand our team even further in 2023 to approximately 50 people.

What can we hope to see from Protex AI in the future?

Our primary focus is to provide state of the art AI computer vision technology and continue helping EHS teams to create safer workplaces. To support the development of our solution, we’re boosting talent acquisition in both our product and computer visions teams. This investment in talent will help us provide greater value to our existing client base and support the demands of enterprise EHS teams in a space that lags behind in AI adoption.

Our growth is focused initially in Europe and North America. Next year, we’re looking to open our US office in order to service the North American market, with a focus towards developing our support and client success functions.

This commercial development will help us to reach BEP in 1.5 years after starting commercialisation and anticipates annual revenues by 2028 of ~€100M, a net income of €20M and an employee headcount of 500 people.