British tunnelling start-up hyperTunnel backed by VINCI
BASINGSTOKE, England, June 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- hyperTunnel, the British underground construction innovator, has received a financial investment from VINCI, a global leader in concessions, energy and construction businesses. The funds will be used for business expansion and to further develop and test hyperTunnel's revolutionary construction method in practical situations.
The deal further strengthens hyperTunnel's connections with VINCI Construction technical departments. hyperTunnel recently joined VINCI's innovation platform Leonard as a member of its start-up accelerator programme, Catalyst. hyperTunnel also won the prestigious annual Construction Start-up Competition in Miami last year, which Leonard co-organises with other sector heavyweights such as Ferrovial and Cemex Ventures.
"hyperTunnel's technology can be truly game-changing when it comes to improving the safety and sustainability of underground construction projects," said Guillaume Bazouin, Head of Start-up and Intrapreneurs programs at Leonard. "It strongly aligns with our goals of rapidly responding to the climate emergency by enabling technological advances that have a substantial environmental impact. hyperTunnel also boasts exceptional leadership and engineering teams, and we are looking to support their great success in the near future."
hyperTunnel co-founder Jeremy Hammond added, "VINCI and Leonard are real experts when it comes to construction innovation, so to get their backing in such a concrete and substantial way means we must be doing something right. They can see the huge potential of the technologies we're developing, and they share our passion for improving how the world works. We're excited to see what we can achieve together over the coming months."
Aquaa Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to hyperTunnel on the transaction.
Last week, the European Innovation Council (EIC), Europe's flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations, selected hyperTunnel to receive funding of 1.88 million Euros under its EIC Accelerator scheme. The funding will be used to complete the development of hyperTunnel's advanced swarm robotics underground construction platform.
hyperTunnel is a deep tech scale-up developing a revolutionary methodology for tunnels and underground schemes substantially faster, safer, more economically and more environmentally friendly than current techniques. hyperTunnel uses a unique combination of proven technologies from diverse industries – digital twins, robotics, 3D-printing and digital underground surveying, supported by AI and VR – to redefine possibilities in tunnel construction, enlargement, monitoring and repair.
Founded in 2018, hyperTunnel employs 40 people located at its Basingstoke headquarters, and outdoor learning environment (the hOLE) and Geolab in the North Hampshire Downs.
In 2021, hyperTunnel announced a contract with Network Rail. hyperTunnel has received a string of awards and funding of 1.88 m Euros from the European Innovation Council (EIC)'s EIC Accelerator scheme. hyperTunnel was recently picked by the government's Innovate UK agency to join its Global Business Innovation Programme. It won Startup of the Year at this year's Construction Technology Awards; was highlighted as a Top 50 Contech Startup and among 10 winners of the global Construction Startup Competition.
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