Aerones, a Latvia-based company specializing in robot-enabled wind turbine maintenance and inspection, has secured $30 million in growth capital to scale its business globally.
The capital will be used to help the Company meet surging demand in a market which is expected to reach $50 billion in value by 2028.
The funding round was co-led by Lightrock, the global growth equity investor, and Haniel, the European family-owned purpose-driven investor.
Further participation in the round, for the YCombinator-backed company, came from new investor Blume Equity, a climate-focused growth equity investor, and existing investors: Change Ventures, Mantas Mikuckas, Metaplanet, Pace Ventures and Future Positive Capital.
With its range of proprietary technology, Aerones is revolutionising the normally complex and costly process of inspecting, maintaining and repairing global wind power capacity.
Aerones’ robot-enabled solutions are up to six times faster, 40 per cent more efficient, and much safer than conventional solutions, which involve certified rope access technicians who are slower, in short supply, and unable to operate in poor weather conditions.
Starting in 2019 with basic inspection services, Aerones’ patented modular robotic solution now enables the company to provide a full suite of inspection (external visual, internal blade, lighting protection, ultrasound), maintenance (painting, ice-phobic coating, blade and tower cleaning) and repair (leading edge) services.
The combination of Aerones’ robotic efficiencies and ability to bundle different complementary services via the same platform has helped drive commercial efficiencies for both original equipment manufacturers and asset owners alike.
Today, the company serves customers that represent 50 per cent of the world’s wind power capacity, including leading operators such as NextEra, GE, Vestas, Enel and Siemens Gamesa.
Aerones currently operates across North America, Europe, and South America, and has seen demand for its services more than triple in 2022.
This funding round will allow Aerones to grow its technical and sales functions, increase the number of field-deployed robot service teams, expand its presence in fast-growing markets including Africa and Australia, and bring new services to market.
Dainis Kruze, co-founder and CEO of Aerones, says: “Global challenges mean our mission – ensuring the effective operation of global wind power capacity – and our robot-enabled solutions have never been more important or in demand.
“With the support of our new and existing investors, we look forward to further scaling our operations, investing in our technology, and enhancing our offering.”
Nigel McCleave, at Lightrock, says: “Aerones has developed a unique robotic platform that generates real ROI for customers in a huge growth market.
“We’re excited to be backing Dainis, Janis, and the whole Aerones team as they continue to reduce costs and inefficiencies in the global wind industry.”
Philipp Goehre, Growth Capital Lead at Haniel, says: “We are extremely proud to partner with Aerones which is rethinking the way wind turbines will be serviced going forward.
“It’s a perfect fit for our climate tech investment focus and we will actively support the company leveraging both our experience and our network.”
Fabio Bosatelli, head of automation and robotics at Enel Green Power, says: “Enel Green Power is constantly innovating to improve the efficiency of our wind assets worldwide.
“Thanks to robotization, we are promoting the longevity of wind turbines, optimising energy production, and freeing up resource to be allocated to other value-adding activities.
“Incorporating Aerones’ innovative technologies into our operations and maintenance processes, on a global scale and through our RoBoost programme, has demonstrated that robots can play a critical role in the future of wind turbine maintenance.”