Dealflow | November 2, 2021

Sofar Ocean nets $39 million for ocean-data collection

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Nov. 2 – Sofar Ocean’s fleet of solar-powered buoys are equipped with sensors that transmit wind, wave, and temperature data to customers such as shippers looking to optimize their routes.

The San Francisco startup aims to fill a gap for ocean monitoring and research, which is less developed than land- and satellite-based data collection. Ocean data can provide valuable insights into the changing climate, including sea-level rise and extreme weather.

Sofar Ocean will use the Series B financing, led by Union Square Ventures and Foundry Group, to expand the types of sensors it deploys, the company’s Shik Sundar told ImpactAlpha. One example: hydrophones that help offshore wind developers detect the presence of marine mammals. 

Climate tech capital

Separately, climate data startup Sust Global secured $3.2 million to provide satellite-based climate risk data to companies and investors. Last month, Alameda, Calif-based Saildrone raised $100 million for its fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles for collecting ocean climate data.

Startups helping to combat climate change raised almost $13 billion in venture funding last quarter, a nearly 50% jump from Q2, according to Pitchbook.

Battery tech, alt proteins, and mobility startups drove up average valuations. Up and coming: forest carbon tech, turquoise hydrogen, and green crypto.