A start-up which uses technology to map complicated sub-surface and unseen locations to help major infrastructure projects save time and money is raising a seven-figure sum to accelerate the supply of its quantum sensors.
Sky News understands that Delta g, which was spun out of the University of Birmingham, will announce on Friday that it has secured £1.5m from a syndicate of investors.
The £1.5m funding round was led by Science Creates Ventures, with investment from Quantum Exponential Group, Newable Ventures, Bristol Private Equity Club and a number of angel investors.
Delta g works by using specially created quantum sensors to deliver what the company calls “Google Maps for the underground”, otherwise known as a gravity gradiometry platform.
It said there was a multibillion pound cost associated with project delays and reduced productivity as a result of sub-surface areas being poorly understood.
Delta g's product is seen as having particular application across the construction and utilities sectors.
It said the new funding would be used to launch real-world trials with major industrial clients to help commercialise its technology.
Alongside the capital from investors, Delta g has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK worth approximately £500,000 to accelerate the delivery of a commercial product.
Pete Stirling, co-founder and CEO of Delta g, said: “The UK would massively benefit from delivering major infrastructure projects on time and on budget, and through increased productivity by reducing the time it takes to bring such projects to the point of benefiting people.
“A big part of this is the difficulty found in mapping the complex unseen environments and hidden critical infrastructure that resides under the ground.
“Considerable budgets are allocated to ensure that unexpected obstacles can be overcome: on HS2 alone, the contingency for unforeseen ground conditions is £248m.
Mr Stirling said Britain had “made great strides in boosting its underground survey capabilities” but pointed out that existing technologies remained “limited in their efficacy due to inconsistency, prolonged measurement times and reactive use”.
Research cited by Delta g suggests that streetworks and holes being dug in the wrong locations cost the UK economy up to £1.5bn each year, causing more than 6m days of traffic jams.
Harry Destecroix, founder of Science Creates Ventures, described the company as “a truly category-defining breakthrough in gravity measurements via quantum sensing, which has the opportunity to create an enormous impact in mapping the underground”.