Wireless underwater technology company WSense, supported by EIT Digital Growth Services, closes €9M funding round

The Blue Economy is estimated1 to be worth more than $1.5 trillion per year globally and this figure is expected to double to $3 trillion by 2030. For Europe2, the Blue Economy plays a key role: it generates about 667.2 billion euros in turnover and 183.9 billion euros in gross value added, employing nearly 4.45 million people, weighing nearly twice as much as the United States’.

WSense - the blue tech company created as a spinoff of Rome’s Sapienza University enabling the Internet of Underwater Things with its “subsea wifi” systems - just successfully closed a series A round of €9 million led by SWEN’s Blue Ocean and joined by CDP Venture Capital SGR, RunwayFBU, Axon Capital Partners, Katapult Ocean, CoreAngels Climate and Moonstone.

Its patented technologies enable reliable, real-time, secure and cost-effective underwater wireless communications. This makes it possible to collect underwater data at an unprecedented scale, which disrupts the study and understanding of our ocean and the planet. It will also improve operational efficiency and open up a range of new possibilities - including critical infrastructure monitoring, energy transition, real time environmental monitoring and sustainable data-driven aquaculture.

Founded by Chiara Petrioli, a full professor of computer engineering at Sapienza University, who now serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The company offers unique solutions that guarantee adaptive wireless networking interoperability among multi-vendor underwater sensors and autonomous vehicles.

WSense is an EIT Digital 2022 Challenge winner and has been actively supported throughout 2023 by the Growth Services team in launching and coordinating the fundraising campaign, which generated strong interest from multiple investors across Europe.

With the successful completion of this series A round - which together with the previous seed round of €4 million in 2022 leads to a total equity funding in excess of €13 million - WSense will be able to boost its international expansion and pursue rapid growth, ramping up sales and operations of its revolutionary underwater wireless communications technology solutions, with Europe and Middle East as main target markets.

Chiara Petrioli Chiara Petrioli, co-founder and CEO said "This new round and especially the trust of the new international investors allow us to further strengthen our technology leadership in an increasingly competitive market where even large players are beginning to enter. Thanks to our ability in enabling technologies that were previously impossible in the marine environment, along with our ability to develop cutting edge solutions, I believe WSense is well positioned to make a positive impact to our planet. We are in fact developing partnerships that consolidate us in emerging areas such as marine renewable energy, submarine autonomous robotics, and infrastructure security and surveillance."

Federico Menna "WSense's successful Series A funding round is a testament to their game-changing underwater connectivity technology. This round will boost their international expansion as they unlock the promise of the rapidly expanding Blue Economy and strengthen the European deep tech sector. Congratulations to the entire WSense team for taking a European University spin-off to the next level and achieving this milestone", the CEO of EIT Digital, Federico Menna, says.

Diva Tommei Diva Tommei, Chief Innovation Officer of EIT Digital congratulates WSense, saying, "Today is a tremendous day for WSense. This milestone in their scaleup journey proves that this company is out to make a much needed impact in the world while growing its business fast. It's very clear to me just how revolutionary this technology will be. EIT Digital’s Growth Services team is particularly proud to have supported the fundraising efforts of this truly innovative digital deep tech scaleup. Under the leadership of founder Chiara Petrioli, they are poised for tremendous success."

1 The London School of Economics and Political Science, Explainer, 16 May 2023
2 European Commission, The EU blue economy report 2022

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Co-Funded by the European Union