Vaarst, a cloud robotics business, has announced the first $20 million of its Series B financing, which was headed by energy transition investor Legal & General Capital and the venture capital arm of the worldwide energy corporation Equinor. In-Q-Tel, Inc., the strategic investor for the US intelligence and defence communities and allied nations, joined existing shareholder Foresight Group.
Vaarst is a prominent provider of autonomous and cloud-managed robots, with applications in offshore wind, wave and tidal, research, maritime security, and civils. It will revolutionise how offshore companies manage maritime infrastructure and increase asset integrity by bringing cutting-edge AI-based technology, underwater 3D SLAM-based vision, and level 4 autonomy.
Rovco, a sister firm that is also benefiting from the funding, provides this technology to the energy transition arena, primarily for subsea surveys in offshore wind and oil field decommissioning. Energy companies Iberdrola and SSE, as well as ocean services firm DeepOcean, are among the group’s existing customers.
Vaarst’s ground-breaking technology is meant to significantly reduce the expenses of maritime operations while simultaneously presenting real-time seabed information to any device on the planet. A single service vessel operating on a marine asset may now cost up to $10 million per month, which is labour and expense demanding. Vaarst’s technology has the potential to assist in minimising the number of personnel at sea while also increasing the data insights gathered from offshore robots.
The funds will be used to further the company’s groundbreaking work in the fields of computer vision and data management, as well as to support the company’s big globalisation goals. This includes expanding its footprint in Austin, Texas, and Tokyo, Japan, as well as expanding its presence in Europe. These expansion objectives were identified by investors as a crucial factor in their investment choice, indicating the huge opportunity within the maritime infrastructure industry, which accounts for 10% of all worldwide infrastructure.
“We’re thrilled to have acquired the backing of some of the industry’s premier firms and investors to help us execute on our goal – to alter the way we conduct over-the-horizon robotic operations,” said Brian Allen, Vaarst’s CEO. We will not only assist the maritime industries to become safer and more lucrative as a result of this, but we will also make the investment case for the energy transition more appealing, hastening the transition to net-zero.
When Vaarst was created, we wanted to introduce the most cutting-edge technology to the maritime surveying industry to improve efficiency by making surveys faster, safer, and more cost-effective. Our technology has progressed as we’ve grown and expanded, and its potential to revolutionise other industries has become increasingly evident.
“Our clean energy platform continues to develop, entering new areas and supporting the creation of breakthrough new technologies,” said John Bromley, Head of Clean Energy at Legal & General Capital. Rovco and Vaarst are two fascinating firms that will contribute to the global energy revolution by ensuring the long-term integrity of marine assets, lowering costs, enhancing safety, and accelerating procedures. We are encouraged by their enormous worldwide potential and the benefits that this might offer as we strive to expand our investment in green projects such as offshore wind on a global scale.”