AI firm Advanced Navigation raises US$68M in funding – Riviera Maritime Media

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Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) plans to kick in AU$108M (US$72M) in funding for Australia-based AI robotics and navigation specialist, Advanced Navigation 
In all, Advanced Navigation says will have raised a total of AU$134 million (US$89.3M) by the end of the funding round.
Advanced Navigation’s robotic and navigation technology uses AI neural networks and deep learning algorithms. The company’s sensor products are sold to defence contractors and commercial industries spanning sea, land, air and space applications.
The company said the funds raised will go towards expanding its global footprint and accelerating research and development programmes focused on robotic, navigation, photonic, and quantum sensing solutions including autonomous systems for underwater applications and to enhance its sales and marketing capabilities across the globe.
Earlier this year the company launched Hydrus, an autonomous drone for underwater surveys.
Advanced Navigation’s series B funding round will see participation from new investors including deep learning venture firm AI Capital as well as existing investors such as Main Sequence, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, venture capital firm In-Q-Tel which invests in technology for the CIA and other intelligence agencies, and Australian venture capital firm Our Innovation Fund (OIF).
CEO and co-founder Xavier Orr said “We look forward to this next phase of growth as we continue to be a driving force in the autonomy revolution,”
“Our technologies will continue to safely and reliably guide autonomous vehicles across hazardous environments. Together with our engineering experts, partners, and in collaboration with global research institutes, we will work to build a more resilient, secure and sustainable future.”
Two KKR executives – Growth technology lead for Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia, Louis Casey and Vance Serchuck, an Executive Director of the KKR Global Institute, will join Advanced Navigation’s board of directors.
Retired US General David Petraeus who is a KKR Partner and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, will chair a new advisory committee that targets to support the Company’s global expansion efforts. 
General Petraeus said, “I look forward to chairing Advanced Navigation’s International Advisory Board to help introduce the Company’s critical technology to new markets and opportunities, including in the aerospace, defence, and security sectors.”
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