Oct 25, 2023 — article

Meet our new investment: italian deep tech Wsense

W Sense hovering

Subsea WiFi Wsense completes Series A round of EUR 9 M by French, Italian, Spanish investors alongside Norwegian RunwayFBU

By Mari Wachelke

The round was led by SWEN’s Blue Ocean and joined by RunwayFBU, CDP Ventures, Axon Partners Group, Katapult Ocean, CoreAngels Climate and Moonstone.

The scaleup develops wireless underwater monitoring and communication systems with unparalleled reliability and scalability. Its patented technologies enable reliable, real-time, secure and cost-effective wireless communications underwater. This makes it possible to collect underwater data at an unprecedented scale, which disrupts the study and understanding of our ocean and the planet. It will also improve operational efficiency and open up a range of new possibilities – including critical infrastructure monitoring, energy transition, real time environmental monitoring and sustainable data-driven aquaculture.

Chiara Petrioli CEO Wsense

Wsense was founded by Chiara Petrioli, a full professor of computer engineering at Sapienza University, who now serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The company offers unique solutions that guarantee adaptive wireless networking interoperability among multi-vendor underwater sensors and autonomous vehicles.

With the successful completion of this fundraising round – which together with the previous seed round of €4 million in 2022 leads to a total equity funding in excess of €13 million – Wsense will be able to boost its international expansion and pursue rapid growth, ramping up sales and operations of its revolutionary wireless underwater communications technology solutions, with Europe and Middle East as main target markets.

Created as a spinoff of Rome’s Sapienza University, Wsense has international customers and partners across several industries, including energy, telecom, defense, science and ocean conservation. These include blue chip institutions such as Leroy, Leonardo, AKER BP, Xylem, ENI, Saipem and National Oceanography Centre. It has rapidly grown to over 50 employees and operates from its offices in Italy, Norway, and the UK.

W Sense Sensors

Awards and recognition

In March 2022, Wsense was awarded the European Commission Blueinvest Award in the Ocean Observation category for new products, technologies and solutions based on AI for ocean observation, marine data collection and analysis.

In January 2023, in Davos, the World Economic Forum selected Wsense as top innovator of the UpLink Ocean Data Challenge as "the world's most innovative company in collecting and managing Big Data for the purpose of protecting the ocean environment." On September 19, Chiara Petrioli was the only Italian CEO invited by the World Economic Forum to the NYC Sustainable Development Impact Meetings 2023, to support the UN General Assembly on key sustainability issues.

The Blue Economy is estimated1 to be worth more than $1.5 trillion per year globally and that figure is expected to double to $3 trillion by 2030. For Europe2, Blue Economy plays a key role: it generates about 667.2 billion euros in turnover and 183.9 billion euros in gross value added, employing nearly 4.45 million people, weighing nearly twice as much as the United States’.

To learn more, visit: https://wsense.it/

“As early-stage investors within the Aker Group, our unique ecosystem amplifies the speed and scope at which Wsense can deploy and refine its innovations. This strategic collaboration is more than an investment; it's a partnership aimed at harnessing the ocean's untapped potential.”

— Sagar Chandna, Sr. Partner and CTO at RunwayFBU

“This new round and especially the trust of the new international investors allow us to further strengthen our technology leadership in an increasingly competitive market where even large players are beginning to enter.”

— Chiara Petrioli, co-founder and CEO

“Its wireless underwater telecommunication technology is highly scalable, enabling full coverage of the ocean, in real time. This gives us the critical data and tools to better understand the ocean and to protect it, while leveraging its power to address the climate and biodiversity crisis.”

— Christian Lim, Managing Director of Blue Ocean

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