Smart Energy Fund powered by Lietuvos Energija, managed by Contrarian Ventures is investing in French and US start-up Sterblue which develops software for non-pilot aircraft (drones) allowing inspecting power lines and wind turbines without human intervention.
“Lietuvos Energija is seeking to create and implement until 2024 a solution allowing full automation of electricity distribution network inspection process which is currently performed during regular inspections by humans. Thanks to the possibility to inspect the network without human intervention, based on artificial intelligence solutions, it would be possible to save funds and ensure network maintenance of a higher quality,“ says Dominykas Tučkus, Lietuvos Energija Board Member and Director of Infrastructure and Development.
Smart Energy Fund together with the international partners are investing in Sterblue the total amount of almost 1.8 million euros (2 million US dollars).
The Fund is investing together with the partners such as US The Westly Group, Innogy New Wentures and Portugees EDP Ventures. The investment of Lietuvos Energija Fund alone amounts to 265 thousand euros. This investment is a part of the open source investment program offered by the Innovation Hub that is established by Lietuvos energija. The hub seeks to attract ideas and partners to the innovation ecosystem of Lietuvos Energija.
“We are really happy to have these major and relevant investors onboard for our seed round. Their investment combined with their deep knowledge of the energy space is a great advantage for Sterblue. That will definitely accelerate our product enhancement and market deployment!” says Geoffrey Vancassel, Sterblue CEO.
Sterblue software guides drones along trajectories that wrap tightly around structures, find anomalies from the collected images and outputs reports. The whole process is automated and triggered by the click of a button using off-the-shelf drones, doubling productivity as compared to manual solutions, while improving reliability.
“Inspection of energy infrastructure in its current form is still rooted as a manual and ineffective process. We believe that experienced Sterblue team is primed to change and be a pioneer in fully automated UAV inspection of energy infrastructure, which will help asset owners like utility companies to be more responsive to incidents and cost-effective in maintenance. ” said Rokas Peciulaitis, Managing Partner at Contrarian Ventures.
The smart energy fund is one of the four directions of Lietuvos Energija Innovation Centre aimed to attract innovations and talents of the energy sector into the Group, boost the growth of energy start-ups business.
Smart Energy Fund powered by Lietuvos Energija, managed by Contrarian Ventures invests in start-ups that are developing new technologies in the energy field. The Fund also manages AcceleratorOne Acceleration Programme which together with Lietuvos Energija invests in start-ups and helps them grow. The programme tests pilot products and services in the local market, providing further opportunity to grow internationally. AcceleratorOne invites everyone to submit early-stage start-up applications for the 2018 programme in Vilnius Tech Park community.