German maritime start-up subdron GmbH has raised a €1.3 million pre-seed funding round which was co-led by xista science ventures and Faber, from its Ocean/Climate Tech fund, with participation from Saber GmbH. Funds will enable subdron to get cracking on the development and deployment of its underwater technology – making the inspection of underwater infrastructure, such as port facilities and ship hulls, for biofouling and structural integrity, autonomous.
In addition the investment will allow for a Portuguese office in Porto. '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 centres, networking with maritime transportation companies and initial commercialisation of its services'.
"This substantial investment will fuel our mission to revolutionise the underwater inspection industry, bringing about transformative changes that enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the overall sustainability of underwater infrastructure management," says Thomas Vonach, founder and CEO of subdron.
"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 subdron system will provide, would lead to optimised hull cleaning plans resulting in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings,” says Dr. Carlos Esteban from Faber.
Main image: subdron inspection (source: subdron.com)