Terug naar overzicht

Follow-up investment of €2.5 million in Villari, which monitors the health of bridges and cranes in real-time.

TU Delft spin-off Villari has announced that it has received a seed investment of €2.5 million from FORWARD.one and co-investors InnovationQuarter Capital and Delft Enterprises. InnovationQuarter was Villari’s first investor through the UNIIQ fund, and now they are making a follow-up investment from the InnovationQuarter Capital fund.

Villari has successfully developed and demonstrated innovative sensor technology to detect and monitor small fractures or “fatigue cracks” in steel structures. Monitoring even the smallest cracks is crucial for steel structures that experience heavy loads, such as bridges with high traffic or industrial cranes continuously lifting heavy weights. “The current monitoring standard still requires an incredible amount of manual work. For example, several specialists spend days reliably inspecting a harbor crane for cracks. This makes the inspection process expensive and inefficient, not to mention the losses incurred due to the downtime of an asset that should be operating 24/7,” says Olivier Baas, founder and CEO of Villari. Baas explains, “The industry has seen little innovation because available technologies are unable to remotely detect cracks with a comparable level of reliability.”

During his graduation project at TU Delft, Baas developed a new technology to detect cracks by measuring magnetic field variations in a steel structure. The resulting data is reliably correlated to crack growth, which customers can monitor at all times through a user-friendly dashboard. “Unlike manual inspection, our customers can now continue to use their assets unrestricted while continuously collecting crack data at much lower costs, enabling them to optimize their decision-making process regarding maintenance or replacement,” says Baas.

Villari’s sensor solution is patented and already installed at various customers, safeguarding assets such as bridges owned by the Dutch Government and several industrial cranes in ports and steel production sites across Europe.

“The increasing number of aging bridges and industrial cranes that will inevitably show crack formation underscores the need for an alternative that is much more scalable than the current status quo,” says Paul Pruijmboom, managing partner at FORWARD.one. “With their installed base of sensors, Villari has proven to offer a feasible and affordable solution.”

The next step is to globally roll out the technology. An important part of this involves setting up collaborations with major maintenance companies and, along with COO Floris Achterberg, expanding the team with engineers and sales talents. Pruijmboom concludes, “We are very excited to accompany Villari on their journey, and we are confident that the investment will support them in transforming an industry that is ready for innovation.”

Amée Leferink

Investment manager