Science

Data-collecting ocean robots earn Liquid Robotics $45M in its fifth funding round

Liquid Robotics doesn’t need to go diving for gold with its unmanned aquatic vehicles when investors are still willing to give $45 million in the company’s fifth round of funding. The money comes soon after Liquid Robotics sent one of these vehicles across the Pacific Ocean to collect data.

The funding was led by Riverwood Capital with participation from VantagePoint Capital Partners.

Liquid Robotics makes it money through people and companies who subscribe to its data streams. It goes around the world testing water for different conditions based on the customer’s needs, such as the quantity of oil in the water around an oil rig. Because the robots are autonomous, they can also check for conditions in areas that might be deemed unsafe for humans.

In December, Liquid Robotics announced that it’s autonomous “Wave Glider” vehicle named Papa Mau had made the longest trip a vehicle of its type has made on land or sea from San Francisco to Australia. The wave rider collected data all the way, while simultaneously handling the watery expand before it, including making its way around the Great Barrier Reef. At the time, Liquid Robots’ chief of innovative applications Ed Lu said the data collecting vehicle is “almost like small spacecraft.”

The company says it will use the funding to build out new “cost effective solutions” for industries such as defense, research, and the oil and gas markets. The company also plans to use it for regular expansion, such as adding to its sales team, putting more resources toward finding partners, and building out more services for its existing customers, such as ocean observation and monitoring.

Liquid Robotics was founded in 2007 and is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Wave Glider image via Liquid Robotics

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