Ideon Technologies has raised a $1.3 million seed round from a diverse group of global investors including the University of British Columbia’s Seed Fund.

The Vancouver startup is a pioneer in cosmic-ray muon tomography, providing x-ray-like imaging from below the Earth’s surface. Ideon will deploy the new capital, combined with existing funding, to develop its new bore-hole detector, slated for commercial release in 2021.

Founded in 2013 as a spin-off of Canada’s national particle accelerator laboratory TRIUMP, Ideon is using muon tomography to transform mineral exploration and monitoring in the same way that x-rays transformed modern medicine.

The company’s discovery platform integrates proprietary detectors, imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence to provide x-ray-like visibility up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface.

Ideon was previously known as CRM Geotomography Technologies but rebranded in May 2020 when Gary Agnew was named CEO.

The UBC Seed Fund made Ideon its milestone 20th investment. “Ideon will quite literally revolutionize resource exploration,” says fund president and long-time VC Todd Farrell.

“The world has to get smarter, faster, and more responsible in our approach to extraction. It’s great to be able to help translate years of academic research and trials in this area into a company that has the potential to lead the entire market.”

“Production of minerals needs to increase by nearly 500% over the next 30 years to meet the world’s climate change commitments,” says Ideon CEO Gary Agnew.

“Over 3 billion tons are required to deploy clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, geothermal power, and electrification. With most near-surface deposits already discovered, the mining industry has been forced to search deeper underground using traditional methods. And it’s not working – nearly $200B USD in exploration investments over the past decade yielded a -45% ROI.”