Category Archives: drones

Ocean drone startup merger spawns Sofar, the DJI of the sea

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for Sofar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to let you collect data above and below the surface. They can help you shoot awesome video footage, track waves and weather, spot fishing […]

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Enterprise drone service Kespry raises new funding from Salesforce Ventures

Kespry, a company that offers industrial users a subscription-based drone service, today announced that it has raised funding from Salesforce Ventures, marking that firm’s first hardware investment. With this, Salesforce and Kespry are also partnering around bringing Kespry’s drone services for the insurance industry to Salesforce’s own tools for this vertical. Sadly, the companies did not disclose the actual funding amount, but our understanding is that it’s a substantial amount that’s comparable to other Salesforce Ventures investments. With its focus on industrial use cases, the company, which […]

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Red Cat wants to track drone flight data on the blockchain

Red Cat, a startup that wants to store drone flight data on the blockchain to guarantee immutability, announced the second Beta of its drone data platform today. Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat says in 2017 he was looking at what was holding back the commercial drone business and the need for a black-box kind of system became apparent to him. The so-called black box is really a flight recorder that tracks data about a flight. He believed he could create a platform to reproduce this capability […]

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SeeTree raises $11.5M to help farmers manage their orchards

SeeTree, a Tel Aviv-based startup that uses drones and artificial intelligence to bring precision agriculture to their groves, today announced that it has raised an $11.5 million Series A funding round led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from previous investors Canaan Partners Israel, Uri Levine and his investors group, iAngel and Mindset. This brings the company’s total funding to $15 million. The idea behind the company, which also has offices in California and Brazil, is that in the past, drone-based precision agriculture hasn’t really lived up to […]

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Lift Aircraft’s Hexa may be your first multirotor drone ride

We were promised jetpacks, but let’s be honest, they’re just plain unsafe. So a nice drone ride is probably all we should reasonably expect. Lift Aircraft is the latest to make a play for the passenger multirotor market, theoretical as it is, and its craft is a sleek little thing with some interesting design choices to make it suitable for laypeople to “pilot.” The Austin-based company just took the wraps off the Hexa, the 18-rotor craft it intends to make available for short recreational flights. It just […]

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That night, a forest flew: DroneSeed is planting trees from the air

Wildfires are consuming our forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based startup that aims to combat this growing problem with a modern toolkit that scales: drones, artificial intelligence and biological engineering. And it’s even more complicated than it sounds. Trees in decline A bit of background first. The problem of disappearing forests is […]

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Lidar startup AEye raises $40M Series B led by the Taiwanese government’s investment firm

Lidar technology developer AEye will scale its operations globally through manufacturing partnerships after raising a $40 million Series B. The round was led by Taiwania Capital, the investment firm created and backed by Taiwan’s National Development Council, and includes returning investors Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures and Tychee Partners. This brings the California-based startup’s total funding so far to about $61 million. In a press statement, founder and CEO Luis Dussan said Taiwania’s investment is a strategic one and will give AEye more access to manufacturing, […]

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Subterranean drone mapping startup Emesent raises $2.5M to autonomously delve the deep

Seemingly every industry is finding ways to use drones in some way or another, but deep underground it’s a different story. In the confines of a mine or pipeline, with no GPS and little or no light, off-the-shelf drones are helpless — but an Australian startup called Emesent is giving them the spatial awareness and intelligence to navigate and map those spaces autonomously. Drones that work underground or in areas otherwise inaccessible by GPS and other common navigation techniques are being made possible by a confluence of […]

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Failed drone startup Airware auctions assets, Delair buys teammates

Airware desperately sought cash for 18 months before running out of money and shutting down last month, leaving about 120 employees without jobs after the startup had burned $118 million in funding. Bandaid strategic investments from construction company Caterpillar and others kept Airware alive as it looked for a $15 million round, according to a former employee. A late pivot from hardware to drone software sales through Caterpillar’s dealers went sour, as Airware lacked the features found in competitors and suffered from slow engineering cycles. “So Caterpillar told […]

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Impossible Aerospace raises $9.4M to sell drones stuffed with battery cells

Much like smartphone manufacturers, drone companies have been adding to devices plenty of features over the past several years while making only modest improvements to battery life. But while your phone may boast “all-day” usage, a lot of the top drones only register flight times between 20-35 minutes. Impossible Aerospace is looking to change up that equation, at least when it comes to commercial drones, with a dense design that is basically all battery. The company shared launch details of its US-1 drone today, and announced that […]

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