Companies see bright future in unmanned maritime systems
San Diego, California—August 29, 2018— Ocean Aero, Inc.—builder of environmentally-powered, autonomous, unmanned, underwater and surface vehicles (AUUSV)—announced today that it has secured multi-million-dollar strategic investments from both Lockheed Martin Ventures and Energy Innovation Capital (EIC) in a Series B funding round. This is Lockheed Martin Ventures’ second investment in Ocean Aero and the initial investment for EIC in the unmanned maritime systems market. Both companies join Teledyne Marine as the primary investors behind Ocean Aero.
Lockheed Martin Ventures’ investment continues to increase the company’s maritime capabilities with a focus on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). EIC will provide Ocean Aero with significant growth opportunities in the energy and other commercial sectors.
“Since our initial investment in Ocean Aero last September, the company has continued to make great progress with the development of its unique technology,” said Chris Moran, executive director and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. “The additional investments will allow Ocean Aero to scale its production capabilities and meet the diverse set of demands of a growing customer base using environmentally-powered, autonomous systems.”
Along with EIC’s investment, Kevin Skillern, a managing partner of the company, will join Ocean Aero’s Board of Directors.
“The energy industry constantly looks for new technologies that can increase operational efficiency, reduce risk, and increase sustainability,” said Mr. Skillern. “Ocean Aero’s autonomous marine capabilities can help offshore operators and other commercial companies achieve these goals.”
Ocean Aero’s signature product is the Submaran®, the first hybrid wind and solar-powered surface and subsurface vehicle designed for extended ocean observation and data collection. The Submaran participated with Lockheed Martin on a successful, multi-domain unmanned systems technology demonstration during a naval technology exercise at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. The Submaran relayed instructions to Lockheed Martin’s Marlin® autonomous underwater vehicle, instructing it to launch Vector Hawk, a small, unmanned aerial vehicle.
Built for persistence, speed, and environmental efficiency, the Submaran also recently completed a rigorous, 11-day endurance test, autonomously navigating its way along the California coast from Monterery Bay to the Channel Islands near Long Beach.
“We couldn’t ask for better partners than Lockheed Martin, EIC, and Teledyne Marine,” says Eric Patten, CEO of Ocean Aero. “Their financial support, operational guidance, and business development assistance provides us with the ability to scale our operations to a level needed for the coming years. We have a very bright outlook in the short and long terms.”
While Lockheed Martin has provided funding to venture stage companies since 2007, it refocused in 2016 to long-term, strategic investments in technology innovations that could drive growth in existing and new markets for the company. The fund invests primarily in early-stage companies, and its technology priorities include autonomous systems and robotics, cyber security, artificial intelligence, advanced electronics and sensor technologies.
EIC represents one of the most experienced and proven group of investors in energy innovation. They have been directly involved as investors, entrepreneurs and advisors with hundreds of energy technology companies, including GE, ConocoPhillips, Energy Technology Ventures and Chevron.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. For additional information about Lockheed Martin autonomous and unmanned systems, visit: www.lockheedmartin.com.
About Energy Innovation Capital
Energy Innovation Capital is the premier capital provider to energy innovators. EIC is building a platform for entrepreneurs to drive Silicon Valley innovation in the global oil, gas and energy industries. www.energyinnovationcapital.com
About Ocean Aero
Ocean Aero is an award-winning builder of environmentally-powered, autonomous, unmanned, underwater and surface vehicles. It’s signature product is the Submaran™, the first hybrid wind and solar-powered surface and subsurface vessel designed for extended ocean observation and data collection. The Submaran can be customized to fit the need of defined missions, ranging from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to marine mammal tracking, to Met-Ocean data gathering to persistent situational awareness. Based in San Diego, Ocean Aero gives customers the Freedom to Discover. For more information visit us at www.oceanaero.us.
Copyright © 2018 Ocean Aero Inc. All rights reserved. Ocean Aero, the Ocean Aero logo, Submaran, and oceanaero.us are trademarks, service marks, or registered marks of Ocean Aero in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions.
Contact: Brian Peterson, Ocean Aero
Contact: Sameera Kassam, Lockheed Martin
Contact: Vikki Dunn, Energy Innovation Capital