“It seems quite odd that no one has built the SpaceX equivalent for the ocean,” Anthony DiMare tells TechCrunch. “There’s no big, modern technology company that fits the space yet.”
DiMare cofounded Bedrock Ocean Exploration last year, with Charles Chiau. The latter brought a depth of robotics expertise to the space, while DiMare has experience with the oceans. His previous company, Nautilus Labs, which specialized in ocean fleet logistical planning, raised an $11 million Series A back 2019.
After leaving the startup, DiMare says he met up with Chiau at a San Francisco diner, where the pair discussed the challenges and opportunities in mapping the ocean floor. Today Bedrock is announcing that it has raised an $8 million seed round led by Eniac Ventures, Primary Venture Partners, Quiet Capital and R7.
The company notes that more than 80% of the ocean remains unmapped. And those parts are often at fairly low resolution. As the CEO puts it in a press release tied this morning’s news, “A far greater percentage of the surfaces of the Moon and Mars have been mapped and studied than our own ocean floor has.”
The funding will go toward developing partnerships and building out the company’s robotics and cloud platforms. The team, which currently includes some participants from the recent Shell-sponsored XPrize ocean floor competition, should be expanding, as well.
Among the chief uses for the technology is laying undersea cable. “As of now, it’s done in basically a one-off basis,” says DiMare. “I know that if I need to lay a cable between the United States and China, I’m going to guesstimate the most efficient route and do a survey over that area and hope that it generally returns information that I need to lay a cable. But if I find something, I need to reroute it.”
Off-shore wind farms are a major potential growth category for the company as well. “Right now we’re not working with any oil companies,” says DiMare. “We didn’t know if we were going to have to go down that route. Thankfully, offshore wind has just absolutely exploded. There’s just so much work to be done in the offshore wind space that we can literally just focus on that.”