North East Venture Fund

The 5D mapping system that is helping to keep ports clear

19th October, 2021

A company with a new interactive 5D mapping platform that makes it easier to monitor and manage complex infrastructure has raised £750,000 from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.

3DEO’s system is already being used by BT on 5G projects and by ports and harbours to monitor and manage day to day operations. The cloud-based system combines data and information from diverse sources such as satellites, cameras, sensors and vehicle tracking, visualising it on a single screen to provide a live 5D model of the area.

The system was initially used by the Port of Belfast to visualise and manage efficient dredging of the seabed and has since been adopted by the ports of Dublin, Warrenpoint and Cork and by Forth Ports at seven of its ports in Scotland. 3DEO is also working in partnership with BT and is a partner in a major environmental project, Forth-ERA, with the University of Stirling.

The company was founded in 2016 in Belfast by Andrew MacPherson who had spent years working with 3D interactive technologies. It received an initial £2m investment from Co Fund NI, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, and global tech firm FD Technologies. The company now has its main operations centre in North Shields where it employs four people. The latest funding will help it to further develop the product, take on new client projects and create 20 new jobs in the North East in the next three years.

Andrew MacPherson, the CEO, believes the system has potential for use across the marine, utilities and environmental sectors: “3DEO integrates data from different sources in a way that is easy to understand. By creating a model that everyone can use – even non-technical staff such as operations managers or finance directors – it enables them to assess their options and make better decisions.”

The Mercia team consisted of Ian Wilson and Thea Tebble. Ian Wilson, Fund Principal, says: “With smart cities and embedded sensors, the world is awash with data. 3DEO’s system brings it all together and makes it easily intelligible.2020 was a breakthrough year for the business, with a number of significant customer wins and further opportunities in the pipeline. The funding will enable it to build on this and give it a platform for growth.”

MHA Tait Walker Corporate Finance provided financial due diligence for Mercia on the deal. Lee Humble, Associate Partner, said: “We were delighted to support Mercia ahead of their investment into 3DEO. The company have an exciting growth plan and with the benefit of the recent investment they have a fantastic opportunity to seize significant market share. We look forward to watching the business flourish and wish them the best of luck for the future.”




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