Aussie scaleup Infravision raises US$23m to accelerate power line construction and grid capacity in North America
Australian-launched scaleup Infravision, a company accelerating power grid modernisation with drone-enabled power line upgrades, has announced it has raised US$23 million (A$36 million) in Series A financing. The round was led by investment firm Energy Impact Partners (EIP), with participation from leading energy and utility players including Equinor Ventures and Edison International (EIX).
The capital will enable Infravision to accelerate the expansion of its proprietary field robotics powerline stringing system and intelligent grid monitoring solutions to utilities and contractors in North America and globally, invest in current and prospective employees and scale operations in North America to enable a clean, secure energy future.
Founded in 2018 by robotics engineer Cameron Van Der Berg and military veteran Chris Cox, Infravision developed a drone hardware and software technology system that installs and upgrades power lines in a cost-effective, time-efficient and environmentally conscious manner. Traditionally, power line stringing installation or repairs are done manually via utility helicopters, which poses serious safety and environmental impact concerns. Infravision’s TX System offers the power of a helicopter in a complete ground and aerial robotics system that reduces risk and environmental impact as well as unlocks new benefits to the industry including project schedule compression and rapid emergency response deployment in severe weather conditions. Trusted by some of the world’s largest electric utility companies, Infravision’s TX System is modernising the transmission buildout of power lines through providing cutting-edge technology and services for energy network operators and contractors responsible for building, maintaining and repairing this critical infrastructure.
“Today marks an incredible milestone for Infravision as we join forces with leading global energy investors to accelerate the decarbonisation of the world’s electric grid. This funding will enable Infravision to invest in the people, products and projects required to establish it as the industry standard for electric utilities and their construction partners on a global scale,” said Van Der Berg, CEO of Infravision. “It is estimated that 10 million miles of new power lines are required by 2030 to reach net-zero targets, which is roughly equivalent to building the entire U.S. and Canadian power grids again, which took us a century, in seven years. We’re confident Infravision’s proven technology is the solution for today, and for the future of power line construction automation and grid efficiency.”
Infravision currently serves some of the largest electric utilities in North America and Australia including Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which was North America’s first utility to leverage the TX System. It was used to conduct energised power line stringing over urban areas north of San Francisco and reactively during the 2023 storm season, more quickly than traditional means.
“Transmission is the backbone of the clean energy transition. Our just-published paper, Countdown to 2045: Realizing California’s Pathway to Net Zero, calls for urgent actions to accelerate expanding transmission,” explained Sergej Mahnovski, Managing Director of Strategy, Technology and Innovation at Edison International. “Currently it can take more than a decade to build a new transmission line, so the pace of expansion must increase quickly for California to meet the goal of 100% net zero carbon emission by 2045. Infravision’s drone solutions offer safe, fast, affordable ways to accelerate the huge transmission buildout we need, so we’re proud to support Infravision and their transformational technology that will help decarbonise the grid.”
The world is experiencing an unprecedented energy transition, and to modernise and decarbonise the power grid, we need to build and upgrade our systems faster and more efficiently than we do today. With Infravision’s technology, power line upgrades and projects can be completed, in some cases, in as little as seven months.
Sameer Reddy, Managing Partner at EIP commented, “Transmission remains the fundamental constraint to decarbonizing the grid and unlocking the net-zero economy. By most estimates, we need to 10x the pace of new transmission buildout over the next decade. EIP has spent the past several years scouring the market for technologies and business models that can truly accelerate how to plan and build transmission, which is why we are proud to support Cam, Chris and the Infravision team in their mission to accelerating a cleaner, more resilient global electric grid.”
Infravision has operational presence and facilities in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California in the USA, as well as New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. The Infravision leadership team collectively possesses over 100 years of experience in aviation, engineering and high reliability operations and is a strong veteran employer, with 40% of its workforce being from military backgrounds.