AirMap secures US$26mil to accelerate global adoption of airspace management platform for drones
By Digital News Asia March 3, 2017
- Strategic investors include Japan’s Rakuten and Sony as well as Hong Kong’s Yuneec
- The new investment brings AirMap's total funding to more than US$43 million.
AIRMAP, an airspace management platform for drones, on Feb 23 announced a US$26 million Series B funding round led by Microsoft Ventures, with additional participation from Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures (the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated), Rakuten, Sony, Yuneec, and existing investors General Catalyst and Lux Capital.
The new investment brings AirMap's total funding to more than US$43 million.
The Series B funding round will bring AirMap's airspace management platform and Unmanned aircraft Traffic Management (UTM) solutions to new markets worldwide, as AirMap opens offices in Berlin, Germany and at the Nasa Ames Research Centre in Mountain View, California.
"The strategic partners participating in our Series B financing reflect the diversity of the drone ecosystem and the potential of drones to benefit every sector of our economy," said AirMap CEO Ben Marcus, who also serves as the industry co-chair for the FAA/industry Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team.
New Series B investors joining AirMap's network of partners include:
- Microsoft Ventures – The investment in AirMap aligns with the company's ambition to power a safe drone ecosystem.
- Airbus Ventures – Airbus has long-term experience with air traffic management and is actively participating in the emerging drone ecosystem. Airbus Ventures and AirMap will collaborate to facilitate the integration of autonomous vehicles into the airspace, from delivery drones to flying taxis.
- Qualcomm Ventures –The drone of the future will have airspace services like AirMap's directly embedded into onboard computing systems, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight drone platform, a platform targeted specifically for consumer drones and robotics applications. The advanced computing power will deliver robust data and services to support autonomous navigation, beyond visual line of sight.
- Rakuten – Rakuten is the operator of a Japanese online shopping mall and internet services company. Rakuten launched the Sora Raku Rakuten Drone service in April 2016 and has worked with local partners to carry out a number of drone delivery flights in Japan.
- Sony - Sony is a pioneer in the commercial drone business in Japan through its Sony group affiliate, Aerosense Inc. Sony seeks to expand its drone business globally by leveraging on broad technology assets within the Sony group, as well as partnerships with startups such as AirMap. Sony is making its investment in AirMap through its Sony Innovation Fund.
- Yuneec - Yuneec deals in electric aviation with drones focused on hobby, consumer and commercial customers. Yuneec and AirMap are looking forward to working together to ensure a future in which drones are even safer and easier to fly.
AirMap's data and services are embedded into drones, ground control stations, and flight apps by drone makers, such as DJI, Intel, senseFly, 3DR, and Aeryon Labs – expanding the reach of AirMap's technology and solutions throughout the entire drone ecosystem.
More than 125 airports use AirMap's airspace management dashboard to open surrounding airspace to drones, view past and current drone flights, accept digital flight notices, and communicate with drone operators. The AirMap platform also provides solutions for geofencing, remote identification of drones, and sophisticated in-flight deconfliction.
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