Drone startup Iris Automation is gaining financial altitude after announcing a $13 million Series B funding round today.
Iris develops advanced detection systems that bolster Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) capabilities which, in turn, enable safer commercial drone operations.
New investors Sony Innovation Fund and Verizon Ventures join follow-on investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Bee Partners, and OCA Ventures.
“We are incredibly excited about this show of support from our current and new investors, particularly during this unprecedented global pandemic,” Iris CEO Jon Damush said.
“We have always known that our approach to the problem solves a critical missing link for unpiloted systems, and plan to deploy this capital to further expand our capabilities and improve safety for unpiloted systems as global regulators work to integrate UAS into existing airspaces. The investment clearly illustrates investor confidence in the growth of the sector and specifically Iris’ role in the ecosystem.”
With the fresh cash infusion, Damush says the drone startup will:
- Expand machine learning and AI capabilities and testing to improve and extend the Casiasystem’s performance envelope.
- Continue to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s BEYOND program, focused on enabling beyond visual line of sight operations with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to advance airspace integration. BEYOND will demonstrate operations that are repeatable, scalable, and economically viable with specific emphasis on infrastructure inspection, public safety operations, and small package delivery.
- Continue to improve detection and classification capabilities of the Casia system to support expanded use cases, operational environments, and aircraft compatibility.
- Build out fulfillment capabilities to produce, deliver, and support the growing installed base of aircraft OEM partners and end-user customers, and enter new markets associated with aircraft safety.
Speaking of the drone startup investment, Bessemer Venture partner and Iris board member David Cowan said:
“We see explosive demand in energy, agriculture, construction, security and logistics for long-range and remotely operated drones. Iris’ collision avoidance product, the only on-board, visual aircraft recognition system to receive government approval, provides a critical piece of air safety needed to unlock this enormous market.”
Iris in the news
October: The drone startup partners with the City of Reno under the FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) to develop a river search-and-rescue program designed to equip the city’s fire department with drone technology for life-saving rescues.
October: Transport Canada approves a special flight certificate that will allow advanced operations with Iris Automation’s onboard drone detect-and-avoid (DAA) solution. With the approval of the second Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights in uncontrolled airspace, IRIS will partner with MVT Geo-solutions.
April: MVT Geo-solutions and IRIS partner in a successful bid to receive the first Special Flight Operations Certificate by Transport Canada using only onboard Detect-and-Avoid.