Seafloor Data Firm Bedrock Raises $25.5 M to Accelerate Offshore Wind Energy Development
Seafloor data acquisition and distribution firm Bedrock has said it has secured $25.5 million in its Series A funding round, bringing its total funding to date to $33.5M.
The funds will be utilized to bring its data offering to the offshore wind market this year, and grow the company's proprietary unmanned autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) acquisition system.
Bedrock says it has the potential to accelerate and reduce risks for the development of offshore wind energy projects, a key strategic interest supported by the Biden administration with significant support from the IRA (The Inflation Reduction Act).
The investment round was co-led by global VC firm Northzone and Primary Venture Partners, with significant participation from Valor Equity Partners, and existing investors Eniac, Quiet Capital, and R7.
Founded in 2020 by Anthony DiMare and Charles Chiau, Bedrock describes itself as "a public benefit corporation committed to transforming how geophysical seafloor data is acquired and distributed."
The company's AUV technology and cloud data platform aim to reduce the time, environmental impact, and costs associated with seafloor exploration and mapping, speeding up the development of offshore wind energy.
Largest Library of Seafloor Data
Over time, Bedrock says it will build the "largest library of seafloor data that can be licensed to many at a dramatically reduced cost to surveys today."
"Today’s offshore wind energy sector faces substantial challenges due to the lack of detailed, rapidly available, up-to-date seafloor data. This lack of data upfront in turn hinders project planning, increases construction and site risks, and slows the pace of renewable energy development. Conventional oceanographic surveys are not only expensive, running into tens of millions of dollars, but also time-consuming, with final data potentially taking up to 12 months to materialize," Bedrock says.
Bedrock says its "efficiency reduces the need for massive survey ships that have a significant negative environmental impact and eliminates the long wait for critical data needed to spur further, more rapid development in offshore wind energy."
"Bedrock offers comprehensive geophysical survey datasets of the ocean floor. This robust suite of data acquisition and services encompasses a broad range of survey types, including: bathymetry (shape of the seafloor), backscatter (hardness of the seafloor substrate), side scan sonar imagery (object & geological identification), magnetic (for detecting ferrous material), and coming in 2024, sub-bottom profiling data (layers beneath seafloor). Aggregating and unifying these datasets empowers marine geophysicists and project engineers to construct detailed ground models, assess seafloor mobility, and facilitate seamless asset inspection at every project stage," Bedrock says.
Accelerating Ocean Exploration
"Bedrock’s mission is to accelerate ocean exploration by developing the technology needed to build the most accessible and complete ocean dataset. Our goal is to provide accelerated innovations at sea to rapidly advance the collective understanding of oceans, remove bottlenecks in critical infrastructure projects, and provide valuable data insights necessary for stakeholders to make lower-risk, and impactful decisions. The ocean, being one of the few true planetary-scale entities, has a profound influence on our climate’s agenda and is one of Earth’s largest environmental data gaps.
To effectively understand and protect it, we need a system that scales and democratizes access to ocean data and that’s exactly what we’re
bringing to the offshore wind market with Bedrock." says Anthony DiMare, Co-Founder and CEO.
“Bedrock’s approach to seafloor mapping and data sharing represents a transformative leap forward in ocean technology. We believe Anthony and his team will enable a new age of ocean infrastructure development. Their comprehensive mapping techniques consider the delicate underwater ecosystems that often remain uncharted, without disrupting these essential habitats, marking a truly sustainable pathway to the future.” says Pär-Jörgen Pärson, Partner at Northzone, also joining Bedrock's board.
Since closing its Seed round in 2021, Bedrock has developed what it calls a vertically integrated AUV-based ocean mapping system and it says it working to bring a "unique" multi-client model that breaks down data silos allowing access to many more stakeholders.
"With this new funding round, Bedrock will continue to expand its AUV fleet and begin expanding its ability to conduct ocean deployments, aiming to become the most accessible, primary source of seafloor data for offshore wind energy projects. Bedrock is expanding its team internationally and continuing to improve its systems and products. The company has a team of 35 full-time employees and is continuing to grow aggressively to amplify its hardware and software engineering and operational capabilities," Bedrock says.