Vancouver’s VodaSafe has raised a $1.4 million seed round to further expand the availability its AquaEye®, the world’s first hand-held scanning sonar device for water-based search and rescue.

The round was led by Vanedge with participation from BDC, two VC firms that have funded successful hardware technology companies including Echodyne, Recon Instruments, and TouchBistro.

“We are on a mission to make the difficult process of water rescue and recovery as simple and effective as possible, while eliminating the need for costly additional resources,” said Carlyn Loncaric, Founder and CEO of VodaSafe.

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“We built this technology from the ground up because we are committed to making every second count – because in water rescue, it does. AquaEye enables rescuers to quickly assess a scene and identify potential victims within seconds of entering the water.”

AquaEye uses the latest ultrasound technology and artificial intelligence technologies to provide record-breaking water rescue response. AquaEye is specifically designed to be portable, durable, and easy to use for emergency response teams to aid in the rescue and recovery of missing persons.

AquaEye’s ultrasound and artificial intelligence technology is unparalleled with the ability to conduct a 360 degree scan in as little as 3-5 minutes with a search area coverage of 85,000 square feet or two acres.

“VodaSafe’s mission is something that we immediately were able to get behind – saving lives and, in the case of a search and rescue, decreasing recovery time to provide peace of mind to families,” said Amy Rae, Principle at Vanedge Capital.

“Carlyn and the VodaSafe team are building first-of-its-kind technology that we are excited to support and provide to more communities, and eventually recreating water safety standards in North America – if you have a whistle and PFD, you will also have AquaEye.”