Thread Acquires Funding to Digitally Transform Outdated Infrastructure

Thread, the firm focused on enterprise-scale autonomous data collection for delivering precise inspection insights, announced that it closed a Series A funding round in the amount of $15M.

The investment round was “led by Badlands Capital with notable participation from an early utility partner of Thread’s, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Generational Partners, Rosecliff Ventures, Excell Partners, Homegrown Capital and Kevin O’Leary’s Wonder Fund North Dakota.”

This new round of funding “accelerates Thread’s horizontal expansion across asset types and enables the company to continue developing its UNITI platform, which is positioned to become the first practical turnkey Asset Performance Management (APM) platform for the energy and utilities industry.”

Since its inception, Thread claims it “has proven its ability to automate data capture of utility assets via robotic inspection across wind, oil and gas, and now linear (transmission and distribution) at scale.” The company works across “the fleets of several Fortune 500 customers including Xcel Energy and with major asset protection companies such as MISTRAS Group.”

Josh Riedy, Founder and CEO of Thread, said:

“We recognize the challenges our customers face in today’s dynamic utility sector. The aging of the world’s critical infrastructure, disconnected workflow integrations between traditional software and shiny object vendors, and a depleting skilled workforce in Operations & Maintenance (O&M) continue to be major issues in data collection, which makes it increasingly difficult for stakeholders to make data-driven decisions. This Series A funding allows us to better service our customer’s needs by bridging the gap between legacy one-off inspections and real-time asset performance data, bringing the industry into the digital age. We are enabling our customers to cut inspection workstreams from days into hours, using UNITI as a single point for collaborative decision-making and O&M spend prioritization.”

The $1T Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for new energy infrastructure has elevated industry demands for a more robust way to monitor the health of its most critical assets.

Thread also announced the expansion of “its relationship with Xcel Energy, one of its earliest customers and co-development collaborators.”

This work will advance “the development of Thread’s flagship product, UNITI, to ensure its viability for deployment at scale across all asset types in the utility industry globally. This relationship, which is the first-of-its-kind for Xcel Energy, puts both organizations at the forefront of transforming the way energy and utility operators utilize automation, robotics, and business intelligence to drive asset performance.”

As presented at a recent Utilities Imagery and Inspection Consortium Conference of top Utility leaders, “the value of transforming Utility asset health was of prime concern.”

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