The Australian Department of Defence has released a Defence Industry Development Strategy (DIDS) that defines…
Some $4.45 million in seed funding from deep tech and industry expert investors Main Sequence, Beaten Zone Venture Partners and Salus Ventures will enable Melbourne-based Arkeus to scale its next-generation hardware-enabled software platform for search, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The new funding will help Arkeus scale manufacturing and enhance the capabilities of its core product suite, the Hyperspectral Optical Radar (HS-OR), which is designed to give customers the ability to ‘see’, understand and act on their environment in real time.
“In high consequence situations where every second counts, defence and emergency responders are often hampered by outdated sensors built for a narrow range of light wavelengths,” said Arkeus CEO and co-founder Simon Olsen. “Arkeus is pioneering a new way of sensing, built from the ground up to overcome these limitations and deliver mission-critical information at the point of contact.”
Arkeus is an Australian optical autonomy company developing AI-powered hardware for autonomous drones and aircraft. The company’s optical systems are built for modern, high-risk operating environments, giving responders the ability to ‘see’ and respond in real time, using data from a wide range of visible and non-visible light spectra with autonomous capabilities capable of real-time detection, recognition and tracking of relevant people and objects in complex environments.
Arkeus was founded in Melbourne by Olsen, a defence expert, and aerospace engineer Dr Jonathan Nebauer after witnessing the challenges posed by existing equipment.
“We saw an opportunity to build something new — hardware-enabled software. Our technology is customised and optimised to operate in the most adverse conditions, with minimal to no human involvement. Our job is to extract the hardest to get information from the most challenging environments, quickly.”
Since its founding in Melbourne three years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arkeus has secured multiple defence contracts for its autonomous optics technology, validating the company’s approach. Beyond defence, the company’s AI-powered customisable systems can be applied to tasks like disaster recovery, search and rescue missions, border security, and more.
The funding round was led by deep tech venture capital firm Main Sequence, with participation from Steve Baxter from Beaten Zone Venture Partners and Salus Ventures.
Arkeus is initially focused on use cases in search, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions including in defence, search and rescue, firefighting and police operations. The seed funding will enable Arkeus to scale up production of its HS-OR systems and continue R&D into new capabilities. To support its continued growth, Arkeus is also actively hiring additional technical staff in mechatronics and engineering at its Melbourne headquarters.