New Robotics Platform Thread Raises $15M In Series A Funding


North Dakota-based startup Thread has recently announced that it has successfully raised $15 million in a Series A funding round from investors such as Badlands Capital, Minnkota Power Cooperative, and Rosecliff Ventures. Thread, co-founded by Joshua Riedy, Jim Higgins, and Travis Desell, aims to digitize and modernize energy assets, specifically focusing on utility infrastructure like wind turbines.

Key Takeaway

Thread, a North Dakota-based startup, has raised

5 million in a Series A funding round. The company aims to revolutionize utility asset inspection by developing an autonomous platform that collects data from various energy assets. Thread’s technology, which integrates with existing software stacks, provides real-time asset data and standardized workflows, enabling efficient asset management. With partnerships in both the utility and defense sectors, Thread is well-positioned for expansion and growth.

Revolutionizing Utility Asset Inspection

Thread’s innovative platform consists of a self-contained device equipped with an onboard processor, AI algorithms, and backend management software. This system allows the collection of data from various energy assets, including oil, wind, gas, solar, and power transmission and distribution facilities. By deploying drones and robots, customers can autonomously monitor and collect data on their assets.

One of the key advantages of Thread’s platform is its ability to seamlessly integrate with existing software stacks, providing real-time asset data and standardized workflows. This integration ensures asset health tracking, comprehensive views of asset performance, and efficient maintenance strategies to manage financial and reputational risks.

Competition in the Market

While there are several drone-based options available for inspecting utility assets, Thread sets itself apart by offering a comprehensive solution focused specifically on utility assets. The company faces competition from traditional manual inspection service providers, drone service providers, and other autonomous asset inspection providers in the market. However, Thread has already gained traction with notable customers such as Xcel Energy, Constellation Energy, and Otter Tail Power.

Expansion and Partnerships

In addition to its existing partnerships with asset protection companies like Mistras Group, Thread has also ventured into the defense sector. The startup is collaborating with the U.S. Air Force to develop a drone system to enhance security at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. The contract, worth approximately $1.2 million, demonstrates Thread’s versatility and potential for growth beyond the utilities industry.

Future Plans

The funding from the Series A round will be utilized to recruit technical talent and launch Thread’s product for power line inspection on highways. The startup also plans to invest in business development efforts, including scaling its sales team and expanding its current workforce of 50 full-time employees.

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