Home / SmartTech / The autonomous drone startup Skydio raises $ 100 million and launches the commercial X2 drone TechCrunch

The autonomous drone startup Skydio raises $ 100 million and launches the commercial X2 drone TechCrunch



Skydio has initiated a $ 100 million Series C round of financing led by Next47 and involving other new investors, Levitate Capital and NTT DOCOMO Ventures. as well as existing investors A16Z, IVP and Playground. This new funding will help the drone manufacturer accelerate its product development efforts and expand its market launch strategy to cover not only consumer applications, but also drone technology for businesses and the public sector, the company said. To serve the market, Skydio today launched the X2 family of drone hardware, which is designed for commercial use.

Founded in 2014, Skydio has raised a total of $ 1

70 million and has launched two consumer-oriented drones, both of which use artificial intelligence to provide them with autonomous navigation functions. This means that their drones can actively track objects and people while avoiding possible collisions with objects such as trees, power lines and other obstacles. The end result is a video that looks like it was shot in a helicopter by a professional film team, but is available to the general consumer market for under $ 1,000.

The first Skydio drone, the R1, was launched in 2018 and sold for $ 2,499. The intelligence and tracking capabilities were impressive and were later enhanced with software updates and second generation hardware that was introduced last year and is currently available to order.

Skydio’s new X2 drone platform is designed for enterprise use and will ship in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said. It includes an integrated 360-degree superzoom camera, a thermal imaging camera with a resolution of FLIR 320 × 256, a battery life of 35 minutes of flight time and a maximum range of 6.2 miles. There’s also a Skydio Enterprise Controller for the drone, which has a touchscreen, hardware controls, and a protective hood to prevent glare.

The switch from consumer to company makes a lot of sense for Skydio. The same collision avoidance features and easy piloting that the company has been praised in the consumer world are very applicable in corporate use. The company says its proximity avoidance technology, which allows for very tight tolerances in flight, makes it a great candidate for things like remote infrastructure and device inspection where it would be dangerous or impossible for someone to do so.

X2 can also take 180-degree images directly above itself, making it uniquely able to examine bridge spans and other overhead structures from a different perspective than many rotor drones like this one offer. Thanks to the infrared cover, it can be operated day and night and provide heat maps of destinations.

Skydio will continue to serve the consumer market, but this advance in its short history is likely to be very attractive to investors: the company has evolved from an expensive but high-performing consumer product that is accessible to only a few people, to a much more accessible, affordable, but always still high-tech offering, and now seems to be directing the savings made in its technology to the potentially much more lucrative hardware and software arena for businesses.


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