Palo Alto, California, April 15, 2016
Sharper Shape, the global market leader of automated drone-based asset inspections, has announced US$3.25 million in new funding (€2.9 million) led by Straightforward Capital, a European venture capital firm with thorough experience in the energy sector.
In addition to financing from Straightforward Capital, the funding includes strategic investment from partners of an Australia-based global performance improvement consulting company, Partners In Performance (PIP). With this investment, PIP is able to extend its service offering for its energy customers to include Sharper Shape’s automated asset inspection and analyses. And, Sharper Shape will now have access to over 400 PIP consultants worldwide.
The companies are already collaborating in the U.S. via the EEI Sharper Utility partnership. The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and Sharper Shape are demonstrating and developing commercial services based on long-distance drone flights for electric companies.
“Sharper Shape’s unique services, which combine long-distance drone survey flights and automated data analysis, will provide unprecedented efficiency gains to electricity grid operators,” said Andrej Srsen, Straightforward Capital’s managing director. “Sharper Shape’s versatile software solution, proven for the electricity industry, scales directly to other industries such as railways, oil and gas, and wind power plants.”
The funding will be used to strengthen Sharper Shape’s global delivery capacity and its investments in R&D.
“With these investments we can take the next steps in rolling out our service globally and continue to lead the development of automated drone-based asset management,” said Tero Heinonen, CEO of Sharper Shape. “This funding, combined with our innovative partnership with EEI, will accelerate commercial long-distance drone inspections for the utility industries in the U.S. and worldwide.”
About Sharper Shape
Sharper Shape provides fully automated inspection and maintenance planning services for infrastructure asset owners. Our Next Eagle® solution is the world’s first automatic asset inspection solution utilizing UAV, which drastically reduces inspection and maintenance costs for high value assets such as power lines, pipelines, railways and more.
About Straightforward Capital
Straightforward Capital is a venture capital company that helps companies to unleash their growth potential. Our funds play an active role in companies’ strategic planning and development.