subdron Raises €1.3M in Pre-Seed Funding to Decarbonize the Shipping Industry and Revolutionize Underwater Inspections

Bregenz, July 18th, 2023subdron GmbH, an innovative startup specializing in autonomous underwater navigation and data processing for advanced underwater inspections, announced today the successful raise of €1.3M in pre-seed funding. The investment round was co-led by xista science ventures, a renowned venture fund focused on scientific advancements, and Faber, from its Ocean / Climate Tech fund, with participation from esteemed investor Saber GmbH. The influx of capital will enable subdron GmbH to accelerate the development and deployment of its cutting-edge technology, poised to transform the way underwater structures are inspected for biofouling and structural integrity.

subdron GmbH's solution enhances Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) with vanguard technology and artificial intelligence to autonomously sense and inspect underwater infrastructure such as port facilities and ship hulls. By leveraging advanced sensor systems and innovative algorithms, these vehicles enable faster, more accurate, and cost-effective inspections, minimizing human intervention and maximizing operational efficiency. The technology has the potential to significantly decarbonize the shipping industry and revolutionize the maintenance and monitoring of critical underwater assets, reducing up to 50% the costs and improving safety for a wide range of industries.

This investment will also allow the opening of a subsidiary in Porto (Portugal). Having part of the team and facilities in a coastal city with access to a relevant port like Leixões will be strategic for the company to establish collaborations with local marine robotics research centers, networking with maritime transportation companies and initial commercialization of its services.

"We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of our pre-seed funding round," said Thomas Vonach, Founder and CEO of subdron GmbH. "This substantial investment will fuel our mission to revolutionize the underwater inspection industry, bringing about transformative changes that enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the overall sustainability of underwater infrastructure management."

Dr. Bernhard Petermeier from xista science ventures expressed their excitement about the partnership, stating, "We are impressed by the groundbreaking technology and vision of subdron GmbH. Their innovative approach to underwater inspections has the potential to revolutionize various industries, from maritime and shipping to energy and environmental monitoring. We are proud to support their mission and look forward to seeing their autonomous vehicles make a significant impact to decarbonize a traditionally labor- and carbon-intensive industry."

"Even though it is more efficient than terrestrial or air transport, maritime transport is responsible for about 3% of the global CO2 emissions. Biofouling of the ship’s hull can significantly increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. So cheaper, faster and more accurate biofouling data, as the subdrone system will provide, would lead to optimized hull cleaning plans resulting in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions savings." said Dr. Carlos Esteban from Faber.

About subdron GmbH

subdron GmbH is a pioneering startup dedicated to transforming underwater inspections through the development of close range navigation for AUVs and the automatized data processing. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence, subdron GmbH aims to revolutionize the way underwater structures such as port infrastructure and ship hulls are inspected for damages and biofouling. Their mission is to provide efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solutions for underwater infrastructure management. For more information, please visit

About xista science ventures

xista science ventures is a venture fund specializing in visionary science start-ups and academic spin-offs. With a profound grasp of both scientific and investor perspectives, they stand out as an unparalleled partner to support founders in realizing their deep-tech ideas and building scalable enterprises. For further information, please visit

About Faber

Faber is a Lisbon-based venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurial teams that innovate at the intersection of science and technology in areas such as digital transformation and climate action. The firm combines a specialized focus on deep tech early-stage startups with thematic funds, dedicated teams and advisors who actively work with entrepreneurs to build global companies in the areas of AI and Data and Climate and Oceans (pre-seed and seed). Established in 2013, Faber was an early investor in companies such as Unbabel, Seedrs, Codacy, Sword Health, Smartex, Ydata or iLoF. More information:

About Saber GmbH

Saber is a Single Family Office (SFO) focused on driving growth and creating opportunities in Real Estate, Private Equity, and Venture Capital. With a diverse portfolio of over 20 direct early-stage investments, they are dedicated to fostering innovation and supporting visionary entrepreneurs. Saber provides these exceptional founders with capital, guidance, and strategic expertise to help them scale their ventures successfully. More information:


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