Australian investor Main Sequence Ventures together with US investors Brick & Mortar and In-Q-Tel to fund Advanced Navigation’s global expansion and new robotics R&D
SYDNEY, 26 November 2019 — 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, Inc, 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 today 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, leading 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 leading 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 leading 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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AU Media Contact:
Sling & Stone for Advanced Navigation
+61 416 876 496
About Advanced Navigation:
Advanced Navigation was founded in Sydney in 2012 by engineers Xavier Orr and Chris Shaw to commercialize thesis research into AI neural network based inertial navigation. The first product met the market with great success and the company expanded rapidly adding a portfolio of navigation offerings and moving into a diverse range of deep tech fields such as underwater acoustics, GPS, radio frequency systems, sensors and robotics. Today Advanced Navigation is a supplier to some of the biggest companies around the world, including NASA, Airbus, Boeing, Tesla, Google, Apple and General Motors. Advanced Navigation is headquartered in Sydney, Australia with a large research facility in Perth, Australia and sales offices around the world. Advanced Navigation is an Australian manufacturer exporting globally while maintaining carbon neutral operations.
About Main Sequence Ventures:
Main Sequence Ventures backs deep tech founders inventing tomorrow. Established to manage the CSIRO Innovation Fund, we are company builders and value creators with a mission to transform inspiring Australian research into epic global companies.
About Brick & Mortar Ventures:
Brick & Mortar Ventures is a San Francisco-based venture capital fund focused exclusively on disruptive technologies for the verticals of Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facilities Operations. Founded in 2015 by Darren Bechtel with a mission to identify, invest in, and grow emerging companies developing innovative software and hardware solutions. The firm’s industry experience uniquely positions it to evaluate new technologies as well as build deep relationships with industry leaders designing and building the modern world. For more information, www.brickmortar.vc
In-Q-Tel delivers cutting-edge and critically needed technology capabilities that contribute to the national security of the United States and its allies. IQT achieves this through market and trend analyses, strategic investments, technology adaptation, and applied research. Founded in 1999 as the independent, not-for-profit strategic investor to the CIA, IQT’s role and scope has since evolved, and IQT now partners with 10 U.S. government agencies. Its Sydney-based Australian subsidiary, IQT International Australia Ltd., collaborates with the Office of National Intelligence (www.oni.gov.au) on behalf of Australia’s national intelligence community to support a partnership between the intelligence and national security communities of the U.S., UK, and Australia. Learn more at www.iqt.org.
About Our Innovation Fund, LP
Our Innovation Fund (OIF) is an Australian based venture capital firm that is focussed on partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs building world-class businesses.
The firm’s Founders, Geoff Levy AO, David Shein and Jerry Stesel, its Partners, Investment Committee members and Investors are made up of some Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and business builders. The team has significant investment, funds management, operational, and strategic experience and invests at the seed stage through to Series A.
For more information visit: www.ourinnovationfund.com.au