Israeli pipe inspection innovator AcousticEye has announced an investment round of $7M to fund the company’s activities. Participating in the round are Russian-Canadian investment group Technology Investment S.à.r.l, US-based Plan B Ventures, and both previous investors Sequoia Capital and Israel Cleantech Ventures.
Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, whose presentation opened the CleanVest Summit at which AcousticEye was introduced to Plan B Ventures, congratulated the company: “AcousticEye’s technology is a great example of Israeli innovation bringing much-needed solutions to industry needs. I’m pleased that our efforts at the Ministry of Economy are bearing fruit and bringing companies like AcousticEye together with the right international investors.”
We spoke with AcousticEye CEO Yoav Harel about his company’s technology and business: “We’ve just recently introduced the AcousticEye DUET™ system, which is a real game-changer for the pipe inspection industry,” explains Harel. Tube and pipe inspection is a huge industry worldwide, with billions of tubes and pipes inspected and maintained yearly. Today it takes two very skilled employees to inspect a pipe, and they are able to do so in a capacity of about 400 per day. The non-traversing DUET™ system for the first time introduces both acoustic and ultra-sound capabilities in parallel, which will enable one operator to inspect over 2000 pipes per day, with far less training, explains Harel. Additionally inspection will be more effective, as the DUET™ system enables inspectors to find problems in both the outer and inner diameter of the pipe, such as holes, cracks, blockages and corrosion.
AcousticEye’s presentation at the recent CleanVest Summit, which took place just one month ago in Tel Aviv around the WATEC event, was instrumental in raising the current funding. “We met Plan B Ventures for the first time at CleanVest, and they are one of the two leading investors in this current round. For companies in our field, the event was great for meeting relevant potential investors. The energy arena is not like the internet apps or gaming sphere where there are lots of such opportunities. That’s why the CleanVest Summit was important for us, and ultimately very fruitful, very fast. The Ministry of Economy’s role in creating platforms for meeting international investors in this arena is extremely significant,” concludes Harel.
Boaz Albaranes of Israel NewTech, the government program in the Investment Promotion Center at the Ministry of Economy dedicated to advancing Israel’s water and energy industries, was involved in the organization of the CleanVest Summit. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the opportunities that the Summit and events like it create, opening doors and making connections, but it’s especially satisfying to see an investment round close so quickly following a connection made at the event. This is one proof of the effectiveness of such activities to create real opportunities for Israeli companies,” says Albaranes.
AcousticEye has now raised over $20M. The company is already selling a few millions dollars per year, and is nearing profitability. Its products are targeting the main players in the energy arena including Chevron, BP, and Shell, as well as power utility giants such as NRG and Duke Energy.