Drones are surely a great piece of technology, which not only enable people to shoot stunning images and videos but accomplish also much more. Amazon is testing drone delivery to deliver online ordered items and similarly, other businesses are planning on using drones to boost their services. While drones seem like one of the key technologies moving forward, there’s a pressing need for some rules and regulations.
This is where the Antwerp-based startup Unifly steps in. It is a software company developing unmanned traffic management (UTM) software for drones. The company’s platform aims at safe integration of drones into the airspace with its software that connects authorities such as ANSP’s and official entities, with drone operators. The company has now raised €17 million in its Series-B round of funding and here’s what you need to know about the startup.
Latest funding details
Unifly has secured €17 million in its Series B round of funding. Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS – the national air traffic control authority of Germany) and Belgium’s Federal Holding and Investment Company (FPIM) invested in this round. In addition, the company’s existing investors, Terra Drone, QBIC, and PMV, also took part in the round. Europe’s growth investment bank, Bryan, Garnier & Co., advised the company on this transaction. Back in 2016, the startup raised €5 million in Series A funding.
Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly says, “This funding round will enable Unifly to continue building its world-leading features and to expand the product offering. This now includes the BLIP which acts as an electronic license plate for drones, combined with high-precision drone tracking. We will continue to grow our international presence and secure additional contracts in the global UTM ‘land grab’. Future markets could be even larger, with the rise of air taxis, with integration between autonomous cars and drones, and with drone UTM software predicted to take over traditional aircraft as they become increasingly automated.”
What Unifly offers
As mentioned earlier, Unifly is a software development company that makes UTM software to manage drones. The startup aims to enable safe integration of drones into the airspace with its offerings as it enables tracking and management of drones. Alongside commercial aviation to provide visibility on where drones can fly, request and provide flight approvals, the company’s software also helps manage potential conflicts and take regulations including no-fly zones into account.
Unifly already has some national level contracts under its belt. It’s services are employed by the ANSPs of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Austria, and it is the selected provider in several US regions including the NUAIR North Eastern UAS flight corridor and FAA designated UAS Test Site in Central New York. Unifly manages drone corridors in Japan and Malawi among others and is a selected technology provider for the US FAAs LAANC program.
Drones are catching up!
With drones slowly moving towards mainstream applications, there need to be some measures put in place. Especially after the recent flight scare at Gatwick, Newark and Frankfurt airports. About 20 million drones are expected to take to the skies by 2020, which is a massive number when compared to the current number of 30,000 planes that help people go across the world daily.
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