Saildrone Ready to Advance Ocean Intelligence with $100M Series C Funding Round

Led by BOND, the new financing will be used to grow Saildrone’s data insight teams and scale go-to-market functions for ocean domain intelligence.

Saildrone Surveyor arrives in Hawaii after its first ocean crossing from San Francisco.

Saildrone is thrilled to announce the close of our $100 million Series C funding round, which will allow us to accelerate production and scale go-to-market functions to meet the rapidly growing market demand for comprehensive ocean data.

The round was led by San Francisco-based BOND known for identifying global trends that drive innovation and change, and also includes new investors XN, Standard Investments, Emerson Collective, and Crowley Maritime Corporation. Previous investors Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Lux Capital, Social Capital, and Tribe Capital also participated. This new round of funding brings total investment to $190 million.

“We are honored to have the BOND team and our new investors join our journey,” said Richard Jenkins, Saildrone founder and CEO. “The combination of the most tried and tested autonomous ocean technology with the partnership of some of the most experienced venture capitalists in the world consolidates our industry leadership and enables our rapid growth path to meet the needs of our customers.”

Saildrone’s mission is to sustainably explore, map, and monitor the ocean to understand, protect, and preserve our world. Predominantly powered by renewable energy, our fleet of USVs uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) have spent more than 15,000 days at sea sailing over 500,000 nautical miles gathering oceanographic and atmospheric data and high-resolution ocean mapping. Saildrone vehicles also use proprietary machine learning to provide marine domain awareness (MDA/ISR) for law enforcement and homeland security applications such as policing illegal fishing, counter-narcotics operations, and marine sanctuary protection.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Saildrone as they build out the future of maritime intelligence, drawing on their unique technological differentiation and expansive mission history to serve customers across diverse industries,” said Noah Knauf, general partner at BOND, who will join the company’s Board of Directors.

Rigorous sea trials have shown that the quality of data the Saildrone Surveyor collects rivals that of the most advanced ocean survey ships in use today—meeting or exceeding International Hydrographic Organization standards.

The funding closes an exciting 12 months for Saildrone. At the end of 2020, we successfully demonstrated how USVs can provide persistent maritime domain awareness (MDA) at sea for the US Coast Guard. We kicked off 2021 with the launch of the 72-foot Surveyor. The Surveyor is the world’s most advanced uncrewed surface vehicle, equipped with an array of acoustic instruments for high-resolution shallow and deep-water mapping. Already, the Surveyor has explored several areas of the Pacific Ocean that have never been mapped with modern, high-resolution equipment.

In July, we launched our first freshwater mission, a 45-day fisheries mission on behalf of the US Geological Survey in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. In August, we announced a new range of capabilities to support the development and operation of offshore wind energy. In September, we sailed into the eye of Category 4 Hurricane Sam to collect valuable ocean data about how hurricanes intensify—and recorded the first-ever video inside a hurricane at sea. 

The data from those and many other missions in the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans will help to improve our collective understanding of ocean processes and improve weather and climate forecasting for the benefit of the global community.

Saildrone’s vision is of a healthy ocean and a safe, sustainable planet. Do you share that vision? We’re currently hiring in roles from hardware and production to software engineering, operations, and product management. Check out open positions on our careers page!


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