Before jumping into the technology industry over a decade ago, I spent six years in the U. S. Navy. I served on submarines as both a nuclear propulsion officer and scuba diver, roles which taught me the value of character and the meaning of "true grit".
A broad network of veterans supported my transition to Silicon Valley life. This group maintains a level of trust based on our shared values, experiences, and ways to operate, so I pay special attention when I get a referral from someone in this network. In 2016, my friend and fellow veteran Ross Hangebrauck (a former US Navy Seal) introduced me to A.J. Altman, a former infantry officer with the U.S. Marine Corps. A.J. was hard at work building HOVER, a platform that transforms smartphone photos of any physical property into accurate, interactive 3D models.
A.J. and his team originally developed this technology for the U.S. military to generate 3D maps for troops. But he had a grander vision: to digitally reconstruct a 3D image for every physical property on the planet. From our first meetings, I was struck by A.J. He has incredible character and he's relentless. He's open, candid and provides clear feedback; holds people accountable. I first invested in the company and joined the board in 2017, and today I'm proud to back A.J. and HOVER again with its $60M Series D funding round.
HOVER's technology works when a customer captures smartphone images of a physical structure — typically a home or commercial building. HOVER uses computer vision and deep learning to automatically stitch photos a property into a 3D image with correct measurements and dimensions. This gives customers the ability to measure, visualize designs, and better estimate materials costs for home remodels and renovations.
Today the company works with tens of thousands of homeowners, contractors, insurers, and channel partners to render 3D images of physical structures for use cases across a number of verticals. In many ways, it feels like HOVER is just getting started, and I'm excited to be along for the ride.