drone funding

DroneDeploy Adds to 2016’s Drone Funding Total with $20m Series B

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Software for drones provider DroneDeploy has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by tech investment firm Scale Venture Partners and ExactTarget co-founder Scott Dorsey’s fund. Venture studio developers High Alpha Capital also participated in the drone funding round. The funding will be used to help expand the product, make additional hires, advance market reach, and to support R&D.

This round brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to $31 million according to CrunchBase. Existing investors from previous rounds include Emergence Capital Partners, High Alpha, AngelPad, Draper Fish Jurveston, Data Collective, SoftTech VC, and Redpoint.

Founded in 2013, DroneDeploy offers cloud-based software solutions that manage workflow, provide real-time mapping, and conduct automatic flight safety verifications. Some of the visual features offer highly-detailed maps and 3D imagery. Agriculture is one of its primary sectors of focus and farmers use the platform to keep an eye on crop health, map progress throughout their fields, and survey vital farmland.

The company also offers its services to the surveying, construction, and mining industries. According to TechCrunch, DroneDeploy’s technology has even been used to assist police officers with locating buried bodies. According to DroneDeploy, the company has mapped over 5 million acres covering some 130 different countries.

The funding announcement comes roughly one week before the Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to enact a new set of regulations that will allow commercial operators to use drones weighing 55 pounds or less. Operators will need to comply with certain requirements before they can set their UAVs to the skies. They must first pass a certification test, keep the drone in their visual line of sight at all times, and comply with speed and height limitations.

Drone companies captured $132 million in investment dollars during the first half of the year across 26 deals, according to AgFunder’s Midyear AgTech Investment Report. Drone funding accounted for 8 percent of the total $1.75 billion invested into agtech during the half, with a median deal size of $3 million so far this year.

The biggest deal during H1 was 3D Robotics’ $27 million debt financing. The pen source UAV tech company designs and creates electronics and aerial vehicles like airplanes and multicopters. The multi-office startup has a long list of investors including names like corporate venture capital multi-stage investor Qualcomm Ventures, global growth equity tech fund managers Atlantic Bridge, early-stage information tech funders Foundry Group, and California-based multi-stage tech investors Shea Ventures.

Remote sensing and data management software maker PrecisionHawk raised $18 million in a Series C round that brought on new strategic tech investors Verizon Ventures, major insurance company USAA, Japan-based NTT Docomo Ventures, and Yamaha Motor Ventures.

Low-altitude airspace management platform provider AirMap closed a $15 million Series A with early-stage and growth equity investors General Catalyst Partners, early-stage follow-on investors Bullpen Capital, bi-coastal sci-tech investors Lux Capital, Chicago-based tech investors Pritzker Group Venture Capital, multi-stage cross-sector investors Social Capital, and Los Angeles-based data and tech funders TenOneTen Ventures.

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