Advanced Navigation Raises $13M for Global Expansion, R&D

Advanced Navigation makes equipment for inertial navigation and sensors for many robotic or autonomous devices, including this UAV that starts as a helicopter and transforms into a plane. Image: Advanced Navigation

November 27, 2019      

ORLANDO – Australian-based Advanced Navigation, which develops artificial intelligence-based navigation technologies for robotics and self-driving vehicles, this week announced it has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round.

The round was led by Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, along with Brick & Mortar Ventures and In-Q-Tel. The company said the funding will be used to support global expansion for the business and accelerate research and development programs for “transformative new robotics, navigation and sensor technologies.”

The company’s products are used by four of the top five car manufacturers, nine of the 10 largest defense companies, along with multinational organizations such as Boeing, Airbus, Tesla, and NASA. In addition, the technology is used by world-class racing yachts, including Wild Oats XI and Oracle Team USA.

AI algorithm

The systems are based on an AI algorithm that allows them to be smaller, more accurate and reliable, and “significantly cheaper” than other products in the space, the company said in a statement. New areas that could benefit from this include self-driving cars, robotics, autonomous drones and submersibles, as well as new designs in aerospace, automotive, defense, marine and subsea.

advanced navigation xavier orr

Xavier Orr, Advanced Navigation.

“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,” said Xavier Orr, co-founder and co-CEO of Advanced Navigation. “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.”

Chris Shaw advanced navigation

Chris Shaw, Advanced Navigation.

Chris Shaw, the other co-founder and co-CEO, added “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 U.S. is a key growth market for us, and working with Brick & Mortar helps us capitalize 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 defense and commercial applications globally, and double down on our growth in the U.S. and other global markets.”

Martin Duursma, a partner at Main Sequence Ventures, and Curtis Rodgers, a principal at Brick & Mortar Ventures, will join Advanced Navigation’s board.

Houston Mechatronics Aquanaut Advanced Navigation example

Advanced Navigation works with products such as the Houston Mechatronics Aquanaut.

“Advanced Navigation is an incredible and untold Australian success, already powering many autonomous and robotics capabilities we will see over the decades to come,” said Durrsma. “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.”

Advanced Navigation was founded in Sydney in 2012, by engineers Orr and Shaw, to commercialize thesis research into AI neural network-based inertial navigation. After the first product was successful, the company expanded to add a portfolio of navigation offerings, moving into field such as underwater acoustics, GPS, radio frequency systems, sensors, and robotics.

For more information on the company, visit the Advanced Navigation website.