Ground-breaking SAR technology set for commercialisation with £2.3m investment


Zelim, an Edinburgh based start-up pioneering unmanned search and rescue (SAR) solutions, including the world’s first remotely operated rescue vessel, has secured £2.3m equity investment. Most of the funding comes from lead investor, Kero Development Partners and Aberdeen based I7V, who are following initial investment in Zelim’s seed round in 2020.

Zelim aims to make the ocean a safer place to work by improving the chances of finding and recovering people in distress whilst limiting the exposure to danger that rescuers face. The company recently launched its patented ‘Swift’ rescue conveyor and will release ‘Guardian’, the world’s first fast rescue craft, with the flexibility of both crewed and uncrewed operation modes, in 2023.

Zac Hall, Managing Director of Kero, said: “We are proud and excited to have led this latest financing round for Zelim. The products they are developing will change the face of offshore rescue – more lives will be saved and it will be quicker and safer for search and rescue services to perform their roles. Zelim is as perfect an example of a mission-focused team and business that you will see.”

Zelim has its sights set on revolutionising emergency response for the whole maritime sector but has focussed to date on the fast-growing offshore energy market to launch its technology. The company is also funded by the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), an industry backed programme supporting innovative UK supply chain companies.

Sam Mayall, CEO of Zelim, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kero as a new shareholder in the company. They are one of the few investors focused on technology hardware and have highly relevant experience to help us commercialise. We also welcome further investment from I7V, who have supported us over the last 18 months with their CEO, Doug Duguid, in post as Chairman of the Board. It has been an incredible journey so far for the team and 2023 is set to be an exciting year with Guardian leaving the yard in spring.”

Doug Duguid said: “I7V are very pleased with the progress that the Zelim team has made over the past 18 months in maturing the technology. We remain confident that the company is progressing towards a full commercial offering in the next 12 to 18 months and that confidence is reinforced by the support of the marine regulatory authorities and potential customers.”

In June 2022, Zelim conducted live demonstrations of its SAR technology to the UK and US Coastguard at Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Norfolk in the UK. This latest investment round and continued support from the OWGP sees the company now primed for successful commercialisation.