Brisbane drone mapping and data analytics startup Emesent has raised US$23 million (A$32m) in a Series A to fuel its global ambitions.
The round was led by local firm Perennial Partners, with international investors Tiger Global and TELUS Ventures. Seed round investors Main Sequence and Archangel Ventures also chipped in.
Co-founder and CEO Dr Stefan Hrabar said the funding will be used accelerate their already rapid global growth targets and expand 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,” he 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.”
Dr Hrabar said they plan to double the size of the 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.”
The business has carved out success in the mining sector, with its Hovermap technology used by the likes of BHP and Glencore and others to obtain high-quality mapping data.
Dr Hrabar said: “Our drone autonomy, LiDAR mapping and analytics technology will certainly benefit the architecture, engineering and construction sector, as well as the oil, gas and defence markets.”
Perennial Partners’ Portfolio Manager Karen Chan said the company’s 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”.
Tiger Global partner Griffin Schroeder said the startup was pushing the boundaries of what could be done with drone autonomy.
“Emesent’s leading drone-based data capture platform gives companies unprecedented access to some of the most challenging geographies,” he said.
“From a safe distance, enterprises can now collect high-quality data that was previously impossible to acquire.”