San Diego-based SkySafe, an airspace security and management technology company, has announced a $30 million Series B investment to accelerate growth. The Series B investment led by Kingfisher Investment Advisors “with participation from new investors Gaingels, and MIT alumni investment fund Castor Ventures. Previous investor Andreessen Horowitz, who led the seed and Series A investments, also joined the round,” says a company press release. “To date, SkySafe has raised $45 million in total financing. The fresh capital will help further accelerate the company’s growth through strategic hiring, R&D, and expanded production of its airspace security system for commercial adoption.”
Counter drone technology is based on a basic premise: detect, identify, and mitigate. Over time, systems have gotten more sophisticated: but as legitimate commercial drone traffic increases, so does the need to differentiate between authorized and unauthorized drones.
SkySafe’s airspace security technology “is designed to applies advanced radio technology, reverse engineering, and deep threat analysis to provide the infrastructure needed for the commercial drone industry,” explains the release. The modular hardware can be easily transported and tailored for specific airspace.
According to the FAA, there are more than 900,000 drones registered in the United States today, with nearly 3.5 million total drones currently in use. The global commercial drone market is projected to reach $58.4 billion in 2026.
“As our airspace gets more crowded with drones, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure those flying over our airports, stadiums, borders and other public spaces are authorized to be there,” said SkySafe Founder and CEO, Grant Jordan. “SkySafe has created an airspace awareness system for drones, to offer visibility, accountability, and ultimately, safety. Without this infrastructure for drones, it’s difficult to build public trust and scale commercial use. It’s critical to adoption as drones increasingly become important tools for things like utility inspections, airline maintenance, delivery, and aerial photography.”
“The intersection between physical and cyber security is an Achilles’ Heel of many organizations. We believe that SkySafe’s proprietary technology enables government and private sector customers to identify and mitigate in real-time these mission critical threats,” said newly-appointed SkySafe board member Yariv Robinson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kingfisher Investment Advisors. “The Company has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to rapidly and efficiently deploy its solutions with new customers. Kingfisher is thrilled to partner with SkySafe and believes the Company has a potential to become the category defining company in this vital sector.”
As demonstrated in the 2018 Gatwick airport incident, speed and accuracy are critical to airspace management. When a hobbyist drone came within airport boundaries, more than 1,000 flights were diverted or canceled and an estimated 140,000 passengers were affected during the two days it took to identify the potential threat. The incident caused panic, significant financial loss for the international airport and massive disruption to operations. With SkySafe’s technology, the Gatwick incident could have been completely avoided. What took days could have been solved in minutes.
“With drone policy and regulations still in development, commercial drone use will be stymied without technology helping to pave the way for its widespread and safe adoption,” said Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) and a partner at Hogan Lovells. “SkySafe has been a leader in the industry moving drone security policy development forward.”
“Skysafe and Gaingels are aligned on the mission to build a better ecosystem for private companies with more diversity and equity,” said Lorenzo Thione, Managing Director of Gaingels. “As Grant and his team build a global company with global aspirations, they are also building a global and interconnected culture and team with diversity at the core.”
SkySafe technology is already used by a global customer base: the system is deployed in more than 30 countries in airports, prisons, stadiums, border patrol, law enforcement agencies, and military installations.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.