Solar drone inspection provider Raptor Maps secures $22 million in funding


From pv magazine USA

Raptor Maps closed a $22 million Series B investment from Canadian private investment firm MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., a specialist in energy, transportation, and climate tech.

Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Blue Bear Capital, DNV, Buoyant Ventures, Congruent Ventures, Data Point Capital, and ENGIE New Ventures also participated in the round.

The funds are expected to help Raptor Maps scale its software-as-a-service platform that serves the full solar lifecycle through financing, development, and operations. The platform helps utility-scale, commercial and industrial developers standardize and analyze data, optimize PV assets, and de-risk projects.

Using drone aircraft, Raptor Maps captures images, including thermal imagery, of both potential PV sites and installed facilities. It creates digital twins of solar assets for operational management and troubleshooting. Raptor Maps platform users can scan in module serial numbers, streamlining warranty claims and verifying supply chains. Subscribers to the service are offered inspection analytics, productivity tools, financial loss calculations, and portfolio benchmark analysis.

Raptor Maps creates digital twins of operational solar projects.

“Making the solar industry more profitable represents progress towards advancing a sustainable energy future,” said CEO and co-founder Nikhil Vadhavkar.  “Our mission is to build software that enables solar energy to scale. We’re delighted to have partners with the right expertise to support our ambitious plans.”

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Customers of Raptor Maps are top owners, operators, and builders in solar, including Tesla, SOLV Energy, Rosendin Electric, Cypress Creek Renewables and McCarthy. Raptor Maps' data model is backed by over 50 GW of solar project analysis across 40 countries.

In its annual global inspection report, the company found that 2.6% of utility-scale solar power is affected by anomalies.

The global solar energy market is projected to grow to $223 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. With this level of investment comes the opportunity for greater efficiencies enabled by data

“To meet the world’s urgent climate goals, the energy industry needs tools to become nimbler and deploy renewable energy quickly,” explains Mark Kroese, general manager for sustainability solutions at Microsoft. “Raptor Maps is digitizing solar supply chains, deployment and operations, which will help accelerate the global transition to cleaner energy solutions.”

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