Spoondrift and OpenROV is an ocean data startup, it specializes in producing underwater drones. They publicized today, their merger for the formation of Sofar Ocean Technologies. Additionally, Sofar declared a $7 million Series A financing round, which is led by Peter Rive who is the SolarCity founder and CTO, along with contributions from True Ventures and David Sacks’ Craft Ventures. Peter Rive will serve as chairman and then proceed to take an active part in the corporation.
Sofar’s major market products are already utilized by numerous customers internationally, for example, researchers who are examining coral reef ecosystems health, surfers measuring real-time wave conditions, etc.
Oceans cover greater than two-thirds of the planet’s surface, manage our climate, and support innumerable economic activities, yet they still remain mostly unexplored and under-utilized.
“I believe the best approach to reaching a deeper understanding of our oceans is to have pervasive sensors and drones transmitting information in real-time. By forming Sofar we have great products available right now as well as a platform for future development” states Peter Rive, the Chairman of Sofar.
Spotter, Sofar’s flagship product, is a solar-powered device which can be fixed or free-floating. It communicates weather statistics. Users now have access to previously unavailable data, thanks to the mobile app.
“Spotter could revolutionize the way we monitor remote ocean basins through a constellation of drifting buoys,” Dr. Aitana Forcén-Vázquez of MetOcean Solutions stated. “These buoys (Spotters) are surprisingly easy to deploy, very light and easy to handle, and can be lowered in the water by hand using a line.”
Another product, Trident, is an underwater drone for research, and examination. It provides an accessible way to collect images and data. It can go 100 meters under and also stream live video to a device.
“The biggest hurdles to understanding the ocean have been expense and exclusivity — the tools have been too costly and too hard to use,” stated David Lang, the co-founder of Sofar.
“Sofar is exactly the kind of bold, impactful global technology investment that excites us at True,” Jon Callaghan told, co-founder of True Ventures. “Now that sensor and robotic technology are inexpensive