Robotics and AI sensor business, Advanced Navigation, has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, alongside US venture firms Brick & Mortar Ventures and In-Q-Tel, following on from Our Innovation Funds early investment in the business. The round will fund a significant global expansion for the Australian-based business and accelerate research and development programs for transformative new robotics, navigation and sensor technologies.
Advanced Navigation builds ultra-precise, AI-based navigational technologies and robotics that are used by four of the top five car manufacturers, nine of the largest ten defence companies, alongside multinational companies including NASA, Boeing, Airbus and Tesla as well as world class racing yachts such as Wild Oats XI and Oracle Team USA.
The systems are based on a revolutionary AI algorithm that allows them to be much smaller, more accurate, more reliable and significantly cheaper than incumbent products, making transformative new technologies possible for the first time, including self-driving cars, robotics, autonomous drones and submersibles, as well as new capabilities in aerospace, automotive, defence, marine and subsea.
“Incumbents in the navigation technology industry are still developing equipment based on an algorithm developed in 1967 — we’re bringing an age-old industry into the 21st century,” said Xavier Orr, co-founder of Advanced Navigation. “We founded Advanced Navigation out of that necessity to change an industry stuck in the past. What we’ve developed allows businesses to do incredible new things that weren’t previously possible, powering next-generation applications across land, sea and air.”
Advanced Navigation co-founder, Chris Shaw, said: “There are tremendous benefits for partnering with each of our investors. Main Sequence Ventures are deep-tech specialists and will give us a huge opportunity to work with governments and tap into universities working on revolutionary technologies”.
“The US is a key growth market for us, and working with Brick & Mortar helps us capitalise on that. These guys are the domain experts in the construction industry, and will open doors for us. The additional funds will allow us to continue investing in best-in-class research and development in this area, for defence and commercial applications globally, and double down on our growth in the US and other global markets.”
Martin Duursma, Partner at Main Sequence Ventures, and Curtis Rodgers, Principal at Brick & Mortar Ventures, will join Advanced Navigation’s board.
Duursma said: “Advanced Navigation is an incredible and untold Australian success, already powering many autonomous and robotics capabilities we will see over the decades to come. We really like the way that the company collaborates with Australian universities to develop new and groundbreaking product capabilities. There’s no one quite doing what the company is doing and we’re thrilled to have Advanced Navigation join the Main Sequence portfolio and help them expand even faster across the world.”
Rodgers said: “The ultra-precise navigation and positioning capabilities of Advanced Navigation’s technologies have a number of potential applications in construction and adjacent industries. We’re excited to work with Xavier, Chris and the team to bring these possibilities to life on the global stage.”
Recognising early on the value and significant differentiation of Advanced Navigation’s product suite, Australian based VC investor Our Innovation Fund, backed Advanced Navigation to help it go global. The $150 million investment firm, backed by some of Asia Pacific’s entrepreneurs and investors, has continued its valuable partnership with the company, working alongside the team to continue scaling the business.
“The Advanced Navigation team are rewriting the rule book for edge navigational technologies,” said Jerry Stesel, a Founding Partner of Our Innovation Fund. “The speed with which they’ve been able to establish a leadership position in their markets has been exhilarating to see. We’re thrilled to be continuing our partnership with the team.”
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