Venture Capital

Sofar Ocean Soaks Up $39 Million Series B

SAN FRANCISCO — Sofar Ocean, developer of an ocean intelligence platform,  has secured a $39 million Series B syndicate round with Union Square Ventures (USV) and the Foundry Group. With this funding, Sofar plans to scale its technology platform and grow its team across key regions worldwide. The funding empowers the team to execute its mission of delivering climate insights through ocean intelligence, enabling strategic business decisions, and promoting climate adaptation and mitigation.

[Photo above: Sofar Ocean delivers real-time ocean intelligence through a network of IoT-enabled Spotter buoys.]

To date, Sofar’s subscription base includes hundreds of climate and ocean scientists, more than a dozen global shipping carriers, and international government agencies that leverage its IoT-enabled ocean intelligence platform for applications including: climate research; fuel-efficient ocean mobility; offshore energy site and risk assessment; weather models and forecasting; protection of coastal communities, local economies, assets and more.

“Uncertainty, in any form, translates to risk. The lack of accurate ocean data increases operational uncertainty and inefficiencies for major global industries, like maritime shipping,” said Rebecca Kaden, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. “The financial and environmental costs of uncertainty are massive. For instance, today, 3% of global GHG emissions come from the shipping industry. Sofar’s ocean intelligence platform, powered by its global ocean sensor network, will provide insights needed to help major ocean industries, like shipping, improve inefficiencies, reduce risk, and most importantly, mitigate their climate impact.”

The round is a syndicate with USV’s Climate Fund, which invests in companies that decarbonize the economy and provide solutions to mitigate or better adapt to the climate crisis, and Foundry Group, which has a track record of working with Silicon Valley’s best and brightest. Both will be instrumental in Sofar’s continued growth and maturity.

“Sofar has built the first ocean intelligence platform to provide valuable insights to existing and emerging ocean industries, and to drive critical progress in addressing the climate crisis,” said Lindel Eakman, Partner at Foundry Group. “Changes in climate and extreme weather are increasing uncertainty and risk and impacting every major industry in the world. As an end-to-end platform with a global ocean sensor network, data, insights, and applications, Sofar’s platform is well positioned for success with the best integrated customer experience. As a start, data and insights from the platform immediately help industries like maritime shipping reduce emissions and increase efficiency. We believe that large-scale ocean sensing and intelligence will play an increasingly important role across multiple industries in reducing climate risks and weather uncertainty.”

Founded to bridge the glaring data gaps in ocean monitoring and research, Sofar has built a powerful, first-of-its-kind ocean intelligence platform. With thousands of IoT sensors across our oceans that have racked up over 5 million ocean hours and deliver over 100,000 unique ocean data points every day, Sofar collects unprecedented amounts of ocean data around the world – from the Southern Ocean to the kelp forests of California and the coral reefs of Australia. The rapid growth of Sofar’s distributed sensor network across the world’s five oceans mirrors the acceleration in big data networks in space.

“At Sofar, we aim to deliver large-scale ocean data to accelerate climate insights,” said Sofar CEO Tim Janssen. “Oceans drive global weather and are a critical component of our climate system. Although we experience climate and weather changes primarily as atmospheric processes, a lot of what we see, like the intensification of tropical storms and hurricanes, is powered by ocean processes. Ocean data and insights are increasingly critical for successful climate mitigation and adaptation. Over the last few decades, with advances in IoT technology and distributed sensing, we’ve become great at collecting data at scale on land and in space. Oceans are now the last frontier. Ocean intelligence, powered by global sensor networks, is essential to reduce weather and climate uncertainty, help industries operate more efficiently, lower operational risk, and reduce emissions. With rising sea levels and intensification of storms, accurate and abundant ocean data is needed to keep vulnerable coastal communities safe, and protect valuable infrastructure and industrial plants. Our mission is to build a more sustainable future powered by ocean intelligence.”