Cyberhawk Innovations announced a £1.25m investment led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) along with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
The funding will enable Livingston-based Cyberhawk to accelerate its growth, create jobs and expand its products and services, ensuring that it continues to lead the commercial development of the Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicle (ROAV) inspection market.
Over the last five years, Cyberhawk has established a leading industrial service that uses ‘flying robots’ to conduct close visual and thermal inspections of industrial assets such as flares, utility transmission towers and wind turbines.
Cyberhawk also delivers state-of-the-art aerial land surveying solutions in oil and gas, utilities and renewable energy sectors. This innovative business initially attracted investment from FTSE 100 utility giant SSE plc and now the UK’s leading venture capital and growth equity investor, SEP.
Cyberhawk’s revolutionary products have attracted several blue chip international customers, including SSE, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Total, Centrica and Statoil. The new investment will enable Cyberhawk to further develop these relationships and allow it to broaden its range of technology led solutions into new markets and geographies.
Unlike traditional inspection methods using rope access or helicopters, Cyberhawk’s approach means that high value energy infrastructure can be kept operational during inspection – a vital consideration at industrial sites where asset downtime can cost millions of pounds per day.
Cyberhawk techniques also deliver significant health and safety benefits. Using ROAVs minimises risk by reducing or eliminating the need to work ‘at height’ and limiting the overall project duration.
Speaking on the rapid progress of the company, Craig Roberts, Cyberhawk’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The new round of investment will enable Cyberhawk to invest in the people, technology and product development required to consolidate our leading position in the market and drive global growth. We anticipate that we will double our headcount in the next year and see further growth in subsequent years.
“Under the leadership of founder and Technical Director Malcolm Connolly, the team made considerable progress in the development of the ROAV inspection market from a standing start. Technical leadership and product development continue to be core elements of our strategy to develop disruptive asset inspection solutions that deliver significant benefits to our customers.”
Tony Robison who led the deal for SEP said: “The investment has come on the back of Cyberhawk establishing a growing demand for its inspection services and an impressive list of blue chip customers. The management team has a strong track record, a growing pipeline of opportunities and has built a trusted brand. It is operating in an exciting global market and SEP is pleased to be able to support the company’s growth plans.”
Kerry Sharp, Head of the Scottish Investment Bank commented “Cyberhawk perfectly illustrates Scotland’s reputation for engineering excellence and inventiveness and shows how these strengths can create jobs and export opportunities. Cyberhawk is creating a new global market for the commercial use of ROAVs in the energy industry in which Scotland can become world leader”
The company’s ground breaking service was recognised by the oil and gas industry in 2012, when it won the ‘Business Efficiency’ category at the prestigious UK Oil & Gas Awards in Aberdeen.