H3 Dynamics, a startup that automates remote security and industrial asset inspection drone operations, is in the process of closing its ongoing US$16 million in Series B financing round, led by existing investor SPARX Mirai Creation Fund (a Japanese fund backed by Toyota, SMBC and SPARX), its Group Founder and CEO Taras Wankewycz told e27.
A total of US$6 million has already been secured as part of a first closing, and the final closing of US$10 million is now in progress.
“Due diligence is in progress with several corporate VCs of global multi-nationals as well as VCs from Singapore, Europe, and Silicon-Valley. We expect to close our Series B round by the end of August, and this will be our final private round.” he said.
H3 Dynamics was founded in 2015 by Wankewycz, who was later joined by Shaun Koo (CTO), and Cher Chuan Lee (VP Engineering). The company is building both a software platform and a multi-purpose hardware platform so that the full cycle of complex, dangerous, or remote data acquisition and processing can be automated using robots/drones, and AI (Machine Learning) on cloud.
The startup’s robotics hardware platform is designed to work with its software platform, forming a closed loop. H3 Dynamics doesn’t make drones, instead it automates existing drones and partners with specialist non-commodity drone makers to provide specific solutions.
The firm mainly offers two products – a digital micro-services platform called H3 Zoom, and a field-deployable tele-robotics system called DBX – both of which are designed to work with each other in what the company envisions to be the future of industrial drone services.
H3 Zoom is an online platform that uses Machine Learning and built-in inspection workflows to turn scanned image data into inspection reports supporting industrial or commercial facilities. The whole process is fully automated. H3 Zoom applies its proprietary machine learning engine to identify, qualify, and map out quantities of surface defects across 3D models or 2D blueprints of the inspected structures – whether buildings, ships, or solar PV farms to name a few. It automatically generates a health-check report that match the paper reports that are currently in use by the industry, and can be conveniently downloaded by operators or contractors from anywhere in the world. In its first test of a building scan in Brazil, the system yielded a 1,400 page inspection report within minutes, claims the firm.
Anticipating a future without pilots, the company has also created DBX, a tele-robotics base station for drones which offers an automated scanning solution for commercial assets located in faraway, uninhabited locations, while also providing a responsive surveillance and security solution for its client sites.
According to Wankewycz, opportunities for H3 Dynamics are global and encompass the entire commercial drone services space. Singapore is a reference market with immediate opportunities in the fields of real estate, maritime, and oil & gas. In his view, there is already a significant need here for robotics, automation, and AI to come and fill the gaps from local foreign labour reduction targets, as well as worker safety and productivity goals.
“Singapore has all the ingredients that can make us successful in our first commercial phase. Our core technology blueprint can easily translated from local use cases to other types of large-scale infrastructure that doesn’t exist in Singapore, such as large hydro-power dams, or large-scale solar PV farms – calling for further deployments of our solutions outside Singapore,” Wankewycz added.
The company has already gained traction in the real-estate sector with a first micro-service focused on high-rise façade inspection, which was the model for many more services planned. The ambition is to host the entire infrastructure inspection industry onto a single platform and deploy it via pilot-assisted solutions, or fully autonomous pilot-less systems such a DBX.
Talking about other future plans, Wankewycz said that the company is going to grow its team to scale up revenue and new products. “We intend to partner with world leaders in each industrial vertical to make sure we build towards a world-class standard every time. Our data collection ecosystem will also migrate from making use of drones to other forms of robotics from additional third parties, to cover more use cases.”
Last month, H3 Dynamics won Echelon Asia Summit 2019 and received S$50,000 in grants from Enterprise SG.
In February 2017, the company had bagged US$7 million in Series A round from ACA Partners and Capital Management Group.