Brisbane-based autonomous mapping startup Emesent is charting a course overseas following an oversubscribed $32 million Series A funding round.
Led by Australian investment firm Perennial Partners alongside international funders Tiger Global and TELUS Ventures, the raise will enable the mapping technology company to execute its global expansion plans.
Established out of more than 10 years of CSIRO research, Emesent’s Hovermap technology uses drones and vehicles to create detailed 3D maps of traditionally inaccessible areas like mines and underground infrastructure.
Co-founders Dr Stefan Hrabar (CEO) and Dr Farid Kendoul (CTO) said Emesent’s international ambitions will now be accelerated, with the funds to expand the company’s reach into new industries.
“We have grown from seven to 130 staff in just three years, by establishing ourselves as a global leader in our industry, with more than 300 customers in more than 40 countries,” Dr Hrabar said.
“Autonomous data capture and analytics is providing significant benefits to the mining and infrastructure sectors, with very clear returns on investment in terms of safety, productivity and yield.”
Hrabar added the raise will enable the company to double the size of its engineering team, particularly in the area of data analytics.
“This will ensure we’re developing end-to-end solutions for our customers, from autonomous data capture through to autonomous analytics,” he said.
“We’re also building a state-of-the-art manufacturing, calibration and test facility near our Brisbane headquarters to meet growing demand, as well as opening offices in the US and UK.”
To date, the company has found most success in the mining sector, assisting the likes of BHP, Glencore and Anglo American obtain high-quality mapping data that was previously inaccessible, helping to improve safety and productivity on site.
However, Dr Hrabar said the technology would be useful in a variety of other sectors.
“Our drone autonomy, LiDAR mapping and analytics technology will certainly benefit the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC sector), as well as the oil, gas and defence markets,” he said.
Perennial Partners portfolio manager Karen Chan said the team was excited to help take Emersent global.
“Its best-in-class technology is disrupting the manual and inefficient nature of asset and infrastructure management, through enabling businesses and operators to reach inaccessible areas, improve safety for employees and reduce downtime,” Chan said.
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