In a strategic move poised to reshape infrastructure modeling and enhance climate resilience, Sydney-based Neara has announced a $10 million capital raise extension. This funding boost, featuring participation from Dutch VC Prosus Ventures—known for investments in unicorns like Delivery Hero and Swiggy—alongside Neara's existing investors Skip Capital and Square Peg, propels Neara's total Series B funding to a substantial $24 million.
Neara is more than just a tech company; it's an infrastructure modeling platform that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to construct intricate 3D models for engineering-grade simulations and analytics. But let's break it down in simpler terms. Imagine a utility company that provides vital services like electricity, water, or gas to homes and businesses. Neara utilizes a specialized computer program (the model) to simulate and visualize how their infrastructure, such as power lines and equipment, would behave in various scenarios. This could range from a severe storm to an unusually busy day.
These simulated scenarios serve a critical purpose: they help pinpoint vulnerabilities within the infrastructure and enable companies to fortify their systems to withstand extreme conditions. In essence, Neara's technology acts as a digital crystal ball for infrastructure operators, minimizing the need for manual, time-consuming inspections and ultimately saving both time and money.
The latest injection of capital will fuel Neara's expansion into Europe and the United States, marking a significant step toward global impact. Additionally, Neara is facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, into existing systems through its innovative "System of Enablement" functionality. This development paves the way for a more sustainable future by facilitating the transition to cleaner energy sources.
Jack Curtis, Chief Commercial Officer at Neara, emphasizes the pivotal role their AI simulation and analytics platform plays in the energy transition. He notes, "Our System of Enablement delivers one unified model to resolve critical macro issues, from designing stronger grids to mitigating damage caused by catastrophic weather events, as well as bringing renewable energy online faster using existing network infrastructure."
Sachin Bhanot, Head of SEA & ANZ Investments at Prosus Ventures, shares the enthusiasm for this partnership, highlighting their focus on technology-driven solutions to address pressing global challenges, including climate change.
Neara's AI platform currently empowers utility operators across vast territories, spanning over 1 million square miles and managing 8 million assets. It aids in designing efficient networks, enhancing wildfire and vegetation management programs, and expediting the integration of renewable projects into existing infrastructure.
Moreover, Neara's platform boasts precision that surpasses legacy line-rating techniques, allowing lines to safely operate at double their current capacity. This breakthrough finding can significantly increase the integration of clean energy using the existing infrastructure, a vital step in the journey toward a sustainable energy ecosystem.
As Neara extends its focus to constructing new transmission lines, it offers network utilities a comprehensive network model for route optimization, community engagement, and rapid development and construction. This approach accelerates the deployment of critical renewable infrastructure, addressing project backlogs and propelling the transition to cleaner energy sources.