Seatrec Quarterly Deep Dive

4 min readFeb 1, 2021

Q1 2021

It’s official! The United Nations has declared the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and Seatrec is here to help. We are committed to developing energy harvesting solutions to help further understand and measure our magnificent oceans. Our CEO, Yi Chao, kicked off 2021 with a WIRED interview, talking to Daniel Oberhaus about the thermal energy trapped in the ocean that we can use to generate unlimited clean power for aquatic robots and a host of other applications. Check out the full discussion below.

🏢 New digs.

We’re relocating our headquarters to the city of Vista in Northern San Diego, California. This new facility offers a significant increase in laboratory and manufacturing space, and will help position Seatrec as a major player in the bluetech community around San Diego. Our move-in date is March 15, 2021.

Seatrec’s New Offices in Vista, California

👩🏽‍💻🧑🏾‍💻👨🏼‍💻We’re Hiring!

Last year, we expanded our team with three new people in finance, marketing, and sales, respectively, and in 2021, we’re looking to add three more engineers – see below for listings.

  1. Electrical Engineer
  2. Mechanical Engineer
  3. Product Engineer

If you’re interested, or if you know engineers committed to ocean exploration and sustainability, this is a perfect opportunity to make an impact. To apply, feel free to send a cover letter and resume to

Reflecting on 2020:

Although the past year was full of daily and often dramatic shifts in our lives, at Seatrec we navigated through the “new normal” and managed to hit some major milestones.

🎯 Engineering Feats:

🌊 Our engineering team completed our second sea trial, powering a Sea-Bird Scientific Navis profiling float with two of our Seatrec SL1 energy harvesting modules, profiled to a depth of 1000 meters.

💨 We went into Q2 with a new project funded by the Phase II SBIR grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a profiling float that can dive ten times faster than the current state-of-the-art solutions.

🏆 We received two Powering the Blue Economy™: Ocean Observing Prizes.

💵 Closed a Financing Round

In October, we raised $2M for our first equity round, led by returning investor and Seatrec Advisory Board Member, Dr. Norge Larson, with participation from Sunstone Management, Frontier Angels, SeaAhead’s Blue Angels, and returning investors from Pasadena Angels. Dr. Larson joined the board as a director, and Sunstone’s John Shen as a board observer.

🎙️Made Media Waves

Also in Q4, Seatrec team members were featured on multiple podcasts and webinars, including The (un)Sexy Podcast, hosted by SignalFire Partner, Elaine Zelby. (The show is described as a meandering exploration of just how sexy unsexy industries can be.) Yi discussed his journey from theoretical physics to deep sea exploration (and was incredibly humbled by landing one of the best compliments ever from Zelby, who described him as “one of the most fascinating humans I’ve ever met.”) Tune into the full podcast below:

(un)Sexy Podcast with Yi Chao

Forbes Technology Council: Yi officially joined Forbes’ Tech Council and wrote his first thought leadership article on the weather theme of 2020 — hurricanes.


There is no Plan B for our oceans. At Seatrec, we’re going full speed ahead into this decade dedicated to our oceans. We firmly believe the bluetech community will help create positive change for our planet and we hope to get back into the water before our next Deep Dive. Until then, we wish you and your families a healthy New Year.

Yours from at least a fathom away,

Team Seatrec




Infinite energy from the ocean. Makers of thermal energy harvesting systems that generate electricity from the thermocline to power floats and gliders.