subdron GmbH, an innovative startup specializing in autonomous underwater navigation and data processing for advanced underwater inspections, announced the successful raise of €1.3 million in pre-seed funding. The investment round was co-led by xista science ventures, a renowned venture fund focused on scientific advancements, and Faber, from its Ocean / Climate Tech fund, with participation from esteemed investor Saber. The influx of capital will enable subdron to accelerate the development and deployment of its cutting-edge technology, poised to transform the way underwater structures are inspected for biofouling and structural integrity.
Founded in 2018 in Lauterach, Austria, subdron’s solution enhances Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) with vanguard technology and artificial intelligence to autonomously sense and inspect underwater infrastructure such as port facilities and ship hulls. By leveraging advanced sensor systems and innovative algorithms, these vehicles enable faster, more accurate, and cost-effective inspections, minimizing human intervention and maximizing operational efficiency. The technology has the potential to significantly decarbonize the shipping industry and revolutionize the maintenance and monitoring of critical underwater assets, reducing up to 50% the costs and improving safety for a wide range of industries.
This investment will also allow the opening of a subsidiary in Porto (Portugal). Having part of the team and facilities in a coastal city with access to a relevant port like Leixões will be strategic for the company to establish collaborations with local marine robotics research centers, networking with maritime transportation companies and initial commercialization of its services.
“We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of our pre-seed funding round,” said Thomas Vonach, Founder and CEO of subdron. “This substantial investment will fuel our mission to revolutionize the underwater inspection industry, bringing about transformative changes that enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the overall sustainability of underwater infrastructure management.”
Dr. Bernhard Petermeier from xista science ventures expressed their excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are impressed by the groundbreaking technology and vision of subdron. Their innovative approach to underwater inspections has the potential to revolutionize various industries, from maritime and shipping to energy and environmental monitoring. We are proud to support their mission and look forward to seeing their autonomous vehicles make a significant impact to decarbonize a traditionally labor- and carbon-intensive industry.”
“Even though it is more efficient than terrestrial or air transport, maritime transport is responsible for about 3% of the global CO2 emissions. Biofouling of the ship’s hull can significantly increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. So cheaper, faster and more accurate biofouling data, as the subdrone system will provide, would lead to optimized hull cleaning plans resulting in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings.” said Dr. Carlos Esteban from Faber.