Smart Energy Fund invested in Estonian startup Hepta Airborne

2019-06-07
Smart Energy Fund invested in Estonian startup Hepta Airborne
Smart Energy Fund powered by Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) and managed by Contrarian Ventures invested in Hepta Airborne, Estonia based startup developing solution for automatic power line inspection.   
 
Hepta Airborne, a company that offers utilities an inspection drone service, has raised € 300 thousand funding in a round led by Contrarian Ventures, marking it the firm’s third investment.
 
Hepta Airborne is focusing on overhead power lines use cases and has already developed a foothold in the Nordic market, where it offers tools for analyzing infrastructure based on the imagery and 3d data. The company also focuses on emergency response after extreme weather events.
 
“We are consistently investing in solutions that help us to improve the maintenance on our infrastructure. Currently, the vast majority of electricity distribution network inspections are performed by humans. It is time-consuming and costly process. Lietuvos Energija is seeking to create and implement a solution allowing full automation of electricity distribution network inspection process by 2024”, says Dominykas Tuckus, Lithuanian Energy Board Member and Director of Infrastructure and Development.
 
“Drone applications are very much a vibrant and moving landscape in terms of how much activity has gone on,” acknowledged Henri Klemmer, the CEO of Hepta Airborne. “For us, we’ve been largely and continuously focused on the commercial aspects of the market that we can solve for really difficult energy sector challenges. But I think others have had some challenges because it’s not the most straightforward thing to figure out a viable business model for scale in the drone space.” That is the reason the team had to develop their own versions of electric and gas-powered UAV platforms to enable their solution to start collecting data for the customers.
 
Company’s solution offers an end-to-end hardware and software solution and it is one of the reasons the company is thriving today. Hepta Airborne CEO has a clear vision on where he wants to take the company in the future. “As the UAV application space becomes more crowded, the challenge of the future becomes data, and that is where we feel confident that the solution will make the process much more efficient, regardless of the platform you use or the type of asset you are inspecting”.
 
“We have been actively tracking developments in this space and working with Lietuvos Energija to understand the inspection process and the pain points,” Rokas Pečiulaitis, the Managing Partner at Contrarian Ventures has said. “You have to know what has been solved already and what other companies are working on to figure out where potential in the inspection automation value chain lies. That is how we believe Company’s solution is and will be relevant.”
 
Smart Energy Fund powered by Lithuanian Energy and managed by Contrarian Ventures supports Lithuanian Energy Innovation Hub including  programs of Open Infrastructure, Open Partnership and Open Culture. Potential partners can find more information about them at leinnovationhub.com.
 
Smart Energy Fund powered by Lithuanian Energy and managed by Contrarian Ventures invests in start-ups that are developing new technologies in the energy technology field. The Fund also manages AcceleratorOne  Programme which together with Lithuanian Energy invests in start-ups and helps them grow. The programme tests pilot products and services in the local market, providing further opportunity to grow internationally.