Abstract futuristic Technology background

Jeremy Suard, CEO of Exodigo, breaks the subsurface status quo with a revolutionary approach to underground risk management 

Exodigo creates complete, accurate underground maps that enable decision-making for its customers in utilities, transportation, and government. The company’s mission is to power the next era of underground exploration, saving time, money, lives, and the planet. 

Schedule delays, skyrocketing costs, utility strikes, leaks, and explosions, environmental damage, injuries, and even loss of life can all be consequences of underground exploration. Exodigo believes there is a better way; that the future of discovery is non-intrusive and multi-sensing. 

Conventional underground maps rely on single sensors and visual hints to infer locations and line paths. Exodigo has created something entirely new. The company’s approach is revolutionary, collecting geophysical data, using multiple sensors and fusing the signals with artificial intelligence. The result is the most accurate subsurface maps in the world.  

Data driven 

Jeremy Suard
Jeremy Suard

Headquartered in Tel Aviv and the San Francisco Bay area, Exodigo’s team brings unparalleled expertise in AI and signal processing from elite Israeli intelligence units and is backed by top industry partners. Jeremy Suard, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, brings nearly a decade of experience in signal processing and artificial intelligence from his time with one of Israel’s elite army intelligence units. During his service, Jeremy was awarded the three highest Israeli Defense Force honors for technology and leadership excellence, making him the most decorated technology major in the Israeli Army.  

“I was born in France,” he begins, “and moved to Israel when I was about 15 years old. I studied physics at the Hebrew University and then, like most young people, went into the army. There are a couple of big tech units in the Israeli Army and the top 0.1 percent of kids in the country are trying to get into these elite units, as most tech startups come from those strong talent pools. I left the army in 2021 and alongside my co-founder and a bunch of other friends, we spent time trying to figure out what we were going to do. Our original idea was to go into the medical arena. We thought about building a machine that could perform an MRI scan, CT scan and ultrasound combined. It bothered us that the current process required duplication and we wanted to tackle the problem with AI. When we started exploring possibilities, we also began looking at other areas where imaging was a problem, and the underground environment came to light. 

“If you consider exploration for oil and gas or construction, there are two underground maps that are very interesting; one involves geotechnology, which considers sub surfaces and the location and level of the water table, for example. The second shows the location of pipes and cables. Unexpected issues resulting from cable location and having to move cables is one of the major reasons for delays in major transportation and energy projects. So, the more we studied it, the more appealing it was. 

“We built a team and raised one of the biggest seed rounds at that time in Israel that enabled us to build the first product. Our first mapping product looked at manmade subsurface infrastructure, and we commercialized the product specifically for the energy and transportation sectors. Time and budget are always issues in these sectors. Anything that goes wrong can have huge repercussions and delays. Our technology uses the same concepts as MRI scans and ultrasounds. We combine huge amounts of data to create an effective 3D map and we find finer details than the current methods’ capabilities,” he enthuses.  

Positive impact 

As energy and utility firms lead the shift from fossil fuels towards renewable power sources, they are urgently working to upgrade aging infrastructure so that it can support a green future. Access to comprehensive and accurate subsurface information is critical to finishing these upgrades on time and on budget. Exodigo offers energy and utility firms the certainty that they can trust in higher efficiency across portfolios, thereby avoiding costly delays by mitigating underground risk and freeing up capital caught in contingency funding. 

“Let’s say you’re burying thousands of kilometers of electric power lines or building new substations,” Jeremy continues. “If one gas pipe or high-voltage power line that was not on the maps is discovered, the repercussions can be exponential. At worst, it could be extremely dangerous, at best, disruptive. But that’s not the only effect. Such a discovery could necessitate halting the project to not only discern which company owns the cable and then acquiring the authority to relocate it but also gaining municipal authorization. Accurate mapping can avoid excessive and spiraling delays. If redesign, or relocation is required mid-project, it can be heavily bureaucratic and burdensome. So, that’s what we’re trying to solve; knowing everything during the early days of design helps to ensure that surprises don’t happen. We can accelerate project delivery by eradicating unexpected underground issues. 

“If you accelerate project delivery, you effectively lower the carbon footprint of the project. If it takes one year to build instead of two, it’s not just about saving time and money; it’s also about reducing the impact of running machinery and equipment for longer periods of time, for example. So, we see it as a major positive in terms of environmental impact.”  

Critical collaboration 

One example of a successful partnership can be seen in top civil engineering, rail infrastructure and services business, Colas Rail, which used Exodigo’s non-intrusive subsurface imaging technology to avoid conflicts with current utility services on a major metro expansion project in Birmingham, UK. While planning and constructing several new light rail stations for the Eastside Metro Expansion project in the city center, Colas Rail began facing delays and experiencing strikes due to unknown utilities. The area had already been surveyed using traditional methods, but the data was insufficient, and lines were still being hit. Colas Rail engaged Exodigo to locate all utilities along the route and prevent further costly project delays.  

“Our work with Colas Rail had an immediate impact on that project and consequently, we’re now working on several projects with them, having formed an amazing partnership. Indeed, Colas Rail named Exodigo as its 2023 Supplier of the Year for this collaboration. Likewise, our collaboration with National Grid is a further shining example. The company was one of my early strategic investors. They really believe in our product and have been backing us since we started with them in the US. We’re expanding our partnership with them in the UK. They’re excellent backers and believers in what we’re doing.  

“Looking to the future, we plan on driving exponential growth and becoming the standard for non-intrusive underground mapping and construction. In three-to-five years, while it’s likely that other companies will have adopted our methods and technologies, we’ll always be ahead of the curve in terms of experience and expertise. Although Net Zero is on everyone’s mind, we don’t really see it as an incentive in construction yet, which means that when we talk to clients, they know they want it, but have not yet implemented it as an intrinsic priority. I think that everybody should actively work towards having non-intrusive, lower carbon footprint solutions. It’s difficult as these projects are extremely complex by nature and being on time and on budget is already difficult enough without adding being ‘on carbon’ to the equation. That said, it’s extremely important and is the only way forward,” he asserts. 

Exodigo is on a mission to power the next era of underground exploration – saving time, money, lives, and the planet. The company hires for intelligence, initiative, and impact, and is incredibly proud of its team. “We dream big,” Jeremy says. “So, our people dream big. The good thing about our solution is its complexity. As such, its production requires multiple small teams, and several disciplines, from hardware, software, and AI to operational expertise. This enables us to onboard talented people who can push the envelope. We’re growing extremely quickly, both commercially, and from a headcount perspective. In our niche sector, we see startups as extreme sports for nerds,” he concludes. “The people who come here are the ones who want to win in their field.”