An Australian firm, Arkeus, has successfully raised AUD $4.45 million in seed funding in an effort to revolutionise search and surveillance in various critical sectors, like defence and emergency response. The funding was spearheaded by Main Sequence, a deep tech venture capital firm, and included participation from Steve Baxter from Beaten Zone Venture Partners and Salus Ventures.
Arkeus creates AI-powered optical systems that offer defence and first responders improved real-time situational awareness, providing them with the ability to "see" and take immediate action devoid of lengthy manual analysis. The potential revolution in optics, and consequent surveillance, comes as a result of newly developed prototype hardware by Arkeus—Hyperspectral Optical Radar (HS-OR). It's designed to provide the user with a real-time diagnosed understanding of their surroundings, designed to augment high-stakes situations requiring rapid decision-making.
Arkeus CEO and co-founder Simon Olsen said, "In high consequence situations where every second counts, defence and emergency responders are often hampered by outdated sensors built for a narrow range of light wavelengths. Arkeus is pioneering a new way of sensing, built from the ground up to overcome these limitations and deliver mission-critical information at the point of contact."
Building on established defence contracts, Arkeus intends to broaden its reach into areas such as disaster recovery, search and rescue operations, border security, and others. The push for expansion comes on the heels of three successful years since the company's inception, in which it has proven its cutting-edge technology in both public sector and commercial applications.
Main Sequence's Investment Manager, Alezeia Brown, commented on Arkeus' achievements: “In a short time, they have developed market-leading products, secured major contracts, and shown the versatility to solve operational needs in both defence and commercial sectors. Their novel approach of combining hyperspectral imaging, radar, and AI has tremendous potential to save lives by giving first responders greater situational awareness.”
Additional support from investors highlights the potential of Arkeus' advancements. Steve Baxter, Investor and Founder at Beaten Zone Venture Partners, commended the Arkeus team for their "immensely proud" innovations. Mike Ferrari, Managing Director at Salus Ventures, noted that the company's autonomous optical systems "have the potential to revolutionise the search, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance landscape, providing critical information in challenging environments."
The seed funding will aid Arkeus in the expansion of its HS-OR system production and empower continued research and development of new capabilities. To support the burgeoning growth, Arkeus plans to hire additional technical staff in mechatronics and engineering in their Melbourne base. With a potential breakthrough in real-time monitoring and surveillance, Arkeus is poised to redefine situational awareness as we know it today.