With new investment and leadership, Nauticus Robotics charts its path
U.S.-based developer of subsea autonomous robotic systems and software Nauticus Robotics has secured an investment before the close of 2023 said to have eliminated many of the dilutive warrants and ratchet provisions of the original de-SPAC financing in the process.
The new investment is the first tranche of financing led by existing investors and Nauticus anticipates executing a second tranche of investment for which discussions are ongoing, aimed at providing funding for the year.
The investment is said to be an integral component of several strategic activities initiated by the company’s Board of Directors to optimize its operations and to improve near and long-term financial viability. This includes the engagement of a new executive management team, culminating in the promotion of John W. Gibson, Jr. to interim CEO on January 4, 2024. Gibson has over 35 years of experience in the energy and IT industries, including serving as President of Halliburton Energy Services.
Gibson has served as the President of Nauticus since last October and on the Board of Directors since 2022. He is joined by Victoria Hay, the company’s interim Chief Financial Officer, and Nicholas Bigney, General Counsel, both of whom were appointed during Q4 of 2023.
JD Yamokoski, Nauticus’ long-time Chief Technology Officer, remains with Nauticus and rounds out the executive management team.
“We currently have the intellectual property, prototypes, and the talent to deliver robust products and services,” said Gibson. “Team Nauticus is now laser-focused on converting our intellectual property, including both patents and trade secrets, into differentiated solutions that bring significant value to both commercial and government customers. We are shifting from prototypes to creating reliable solutions for the blue economy.”
Nauticus said that the new finance and corporate structure enables it to realize its tightened strategic focus on providing proven and innovative solutions to the blue economy, which includes working with oil & gas producers to improve subsea inspections in the near term and expanding into maintenance and repair with the next generation of Aquanaut autonomous undersea robots.
The company expects to be offshore certifying its new Aquanaut Mk2 vehicle beginning in early 2024, and, upon completion of the certification, anticipates transitioning to contracted operations at a deepwater field for a major oil & gas producer.
Piper Sandler & Co. was hired as the investment banking advisor to help facilitate the financing efforts and to assist in evaluating other strategic alternatives, including pursuing the closing of the recently announced merger with 3D at Depth.