Updated Nov 1, 2021 - Science

Ocean data collection firm Sofar raises $39 million

A Sofar Ocean Technologies Spotter Buoy.

A Sofar Ocean Technologies "Spotter" buoy. Photo courtesy of Sofar Ocean Technologies

Sofar Ocean Technologies, which makes instruments for ocean data collection, has raised $39 million in a Series B syndicate round with Union Square Ventures and the Foundry Group.

Why it matters: Sofar's data could improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and climate monitoring in the world's oceans, which have vast blind spots compared to Earth's land areas.

Details: Sofar's customer base includes climate scientists, shipping carriers including Berge Bulk, which has 80 vessels, along with foreign governments, among others.

  • The money will be used to expand into new markets while also scaling up the company's engineering, technology, research and marketing departments, CEO Tim Janssen told Axios via email.
  • Sofar aims to deploy thousands of its low-cost "Spotter" buoys across all five oceans to collect data from as many places as it can. They can cost as little as $5,000, depending on the configuration.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that Sofar Ocean raised $39 million, not $31 million.

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