Australia: Hovermap-maker Emesent raises $2.5m to boost mining tech

Photo grabbed from Emesent's Youtube video

Emesent, a drone autonomy spin-out from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has raised A$3.5 million ($2.5 million) in its venture capital funding round led by Main Sequence Ventures.

Main Sequence Ventures manages the CSIRO Innovation Fund, which was established as part of the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Emesent is the creator of Hovermap, a 3D lidar mapping technology that allows low-cost, high-resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based lidar mapping for both indoors and outdoors.

The lidar is also used in real-time for collision avoidance, providing a virtual safety sphere around the UAV.

Last year, Hovermap, which is already being used commercially for a variety of applications by early adopters in Australia, the US, Canada, China and Japan, enabled the world’s first fully autonomous beyond line-of-sight drone flight in an underground mine, 600 metres below the surface of Western Australia.

“Hovermap enables the mining industry to safely inspect inaccessible areas of underground mines, while improving the type and quality of data collected to unlock new insights,” said Emesent co-founder and CEO Dr Stefan Hrabar.

The data it gathers improves a mine’s productivity and provides a better understanding of conditions underground, all without sending surveyors and miners into potentially hazardous areas, Hrabar added.

He said the fresh investment will give Emesent “the opportunity to build out our team from seven to 25”, and make the company “a global leader in drone autonomy and automated underground data collection and analysis”.

Larry Marshall, CSIRO Chief Executive, sees businesses like Emesent as a necessary step towards Australia realising its global digital innovation potential.

“Emesent is an example of a company who has hit the innovation sweet

spot combining their deep domain experience in mining with digital expertise,” Marshall said.

In a statement, CSIRO, the technology arm of Australia’s national science agency, said the real world applications of Emesent’s technology extends beyond mining and can be integrated into industries such as underground rail and road transport, telecommunications, and disaster response.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.