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Capricorn, Schmidt and Social Capital join $60 million financing for Saildrone’s ocean sensors



ImpactAlpha, May 22 – Saildrone, is an Alameda, California-based company that makes solar and wind-powered drones that collect data on fish stocks, shipping routes, and weather and climate.

The company says “new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity.” The unmanned 23-foot-tall vehicles carry more than 20 sensors and navigate using GPS guidance.

Saildrone collects data for NASA, NOAA and other agencies and will soon work with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Horizons Ventures led the Series B round and was joined by Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Lux Capital, Social Capital, and the Schmidt Family Foundation. Saildrone has raised $90 million since launching in 2016.

  • Speed record… Saildrone was founded by Richard Jenkins, who in 2009 set the record for the fastest wind-powered land vehicle.
  • Expansion plans… Saildrone plans to deploy 1,000 drones made in its new manufacturing plant in California.

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