The HIVE UAS Tech Accelerator in Grand Forks, ND

Wonder Fund North Dakota, a North Dakota Development Fund investment program directed by O’Leary Ventures (OLV) has selected Thread as its latest investment. Thread is the leader in enterprise-scale asset maintenance technology for energy and utilities.

“Thread’s technology can help energy and utility companies improve their maintenance efficiency, which can lead to cost savings and increased productivity,” North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner Josh Teigen said. “This, in turn, can lead to job creation and economic growth in rural communities throughout North Dakota.”

Courtesy of the 2022 Federal Inflation Reduction Act, an unprecedented $250B in investments will upgrade the nation’s electric grid with environmentally friendly renewable energy production, new transmission infrastructure, and smart-grid technology. Now more so than ever, innovative approaches to scalable asset maintenance are needed to digitally transform the energy and utility sectors. Uniquely positioned by way of deep industry partnerships, Thread delivers a critical enterprise technology solution for those in the renewable energy sector seeking to streamline asset management strategies, transform critical infrastructure maintenance lifecycles, and build a sustainable future.

“Thread, a proud North Dakota company, is primed to step onto national and international stages,” exclaims Josh Riedy, Founder and CEO of Thread. “North Dakota has cultivated an extraordinary startup ecosystem and investment from O’Leary Ventures validates that progress and empowers Thread to accelerate into a historic market opportunity.”

The financial influence of Thread’s business operations across North Dakota significantly contributes to economic development, bolstering frontline field workers, and creating full-time positions in the Red River Valley. From humble beginnings, Thread has flourished to over 70 team members, proudly serving energy, utility, and DoD clients, including Fortune 500 companies. In line with its ambitious growth strategy, Thread is dedicated to increasing its workforce as market demand heightens. Acceleration of Thread’s initial direct and indirect financial impact in North Dakota demonstrates the company’s unwavering commitment to job creation and fostering regional economic growth.

“Our Thread investment of $2.5M is the latest in a strong pipeline of investments we will make in 2023,“ said Kevin O’Leary of O’Leary Ventures. “We believe in Josh Riedy and his team and their ability to execute a bold vision to create jobs and impact in North Dakota.”

Badlands Capital has worked with Thread since 2021, supporting management’s development of the leading enterprise-scale asset maintenance software company. Badlands’ investment in Thread funded early product development and commercialization, which has positioned Thread to attract sophisticated international utility and energy companies.

“Josh (Riedy) and the Thread team are building a software solution that solves many problems for companies with complex asset networks,” O’Leary said. “Thread’s solutions improve profitability and accountability as the world’s critical infrastructure is digitized. Thread’s North Dakota location leverages the best of a talented technology workforce, leading academic institutions, and supportive state and local government.”

About Thread: Thread, formerly Airtonomy, is the leading technology solution for enterprises seeking to streamline and transform critical infrastructure lifecycle management. Leveraging its proprietary, data-driven, and robust platform technology, Thread embeds uncrewed aerial systems and robotics with a suite of applications to automate enterprise inspection workflows. In doing so, digital asset information becomes vital to stakeholders within the enterprise while also being easier and more efficient to maintain up-to-date information.   

About O’Leary Ventures: O’Leary Ventures is a generalist venture capital investment platform managed by Kevin O’Leary with a diverse track record of investing across many business sectors. As an investor for over three decades and as a host of hit TV series’ Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, O’Leary has invested in many early-stage companies across virtually every sector. O’Leary Ventures has chosen North Dakota as the hub of its institutional asset management business with a goal of building a world class team in the state to support its mandate in North Dakota, in the broader region and nationally.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023 – 09:20 am