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An open-pit mine in Russia. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / cc3.0)

DataCloud, a Seattle-headquartered startup that has developed a real-time cloud-based service for helping miners assess the quality of the rocks they are mining, has raised a new round of funding to fuel expansion in 2018.

CEO Thor Kallestad confirmed Tuesday that DataCloud has closed $8 million in funding, with plans to add an additional $4 million in funding next month. He declined to specify whether the new funds were coming from existing investors — which include Apeture Group and Orica Mining Services — or new investors, but implied some new investors might be coming on when the new round closes in February. With the $8 million, the company has now raised $9.3 million in funding for its SaaS mining tools.

DataCloud CEO Thor Kallestad (DataCloud Photo)

DataCloud sells two things: cheap sensors that attach to drilling equipment used in open-pit mining, and a subscription software service that analyzes the density and quality of the rocks those miners are about to blow up. This is important information to miners, who want to know the right amount of explosive material to use in order to ensure the ore they want can be easily sorted from among the waste rock left behind in the wake of an explosion, Kallestad said.

It’s an interesting industrial Internet of Things application that takes advantage of the boom in inexpensive sensor technology and cloud services. “Previously, (before IoT tech) you’d never be able to do this in real-time,” Kallestad said. DataCloud runs this service on Microsoft Azure.

The company plans to use the new funding round to expand its team, headquartered in Seattle but growing in Palo Alto, Calif., as DataCloud looks for more sales and IoT expertise. “The technology has been proven out, and now we’re looking to deploy it,” he said.

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