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Aussie company Advanced Navigation raises $20m to extend robotics research

By Catherine Knowles
Wed 27 Nov 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Advanced Navigation, the robotics and AI sensor business, has raised $20 million and states it will use the funding to advance robotics research and development.

The money was raised in a Series A round led by Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, alongside US venture firms Brick and Mortar Ventures and In-Q-Tel, Inc.

According to the company, this will lend itself to 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 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 smaller, accurate, reliable and cheaper than incumbent products.

This makes transformative technologies more accessible, including self-driving cars, robotics, autonomous drones and submersibles, as well as new capabilities in aerospace, automotive, defence, marine and subsea, the company says.

Advanced Navigation cofounder and coCEO Xacier Orr says, “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.”

“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,” Orr says.

Advanced Navigation cofounder and coCEO Chris Shaw, says, “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 and 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,” says Shaw.

Martin Duursma, Partner at Main Sequence Ventures, and Curtis Rodgers, Principal at Brick and Mortar Ventures, will join Advanced Navigation’s board.

Duursma says, “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 says, “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.”

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