Sharper Shape, a Finland-headquartered supplier of drone-based infrastructure and utility asset management solutions, has announced $3.25 million in new funding led by Straightforward Capital, a European venture capital firm with experience in the energy sector.
In addition, the supplier says that 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 to include Sharper Shape’s automated asset inspection and analyses. Further, Sharper Shape will now have access to over 400 PIP consultants worldwide.
The companies say they 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,” says 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.”
Sharper Shape says the funding will be used to strengthen the company’s global delivery capacity and its investments in research and development.
According to Tero Heinonen, CEO of Sharper Shape, these investments will accelerate commercial long-distance drone inspections for the utility industries, both in the U.S. and worldwide.