Silicon Valley Start-Up Raises Millions for UAV Risk Management Platform
Palo Alto, Calif.-based SkyWatch, a data analysis, risk assessment and risk reduction platform for the drone industry, has raised $2 million in a seed round led by F2 Capital, Verizon Ventures and Kaedan Capital.
SkyWatch says it will use the financing to continue building its platform – enabling drone service providers to track important safety metrics during pre-flight, flight execution and post-flight – as well as building on-demand insurance solutions.
“Goldman Sachs expects the drone industry to grow by $100 billion over the next five years as more businesses rely on them to complete tasks,” says Tomer Kashi, CEO and co-founder of SkyWatch. “Safety is often cited as one of the top setbacks for the industry. SkyWatch will revolutionize drone safety by giving operators a holistic, one-stop solution to manage their flight safety. As more pilots improve their safety standards, regulators will lower the bar and open the skies to more operators, thus expanding this already emerging market.”
SkyWatch’s mobile application will be available on iOS and Android to both business and recreational operators during the first quarter of this year. The application will connect to most unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and allow operators to get real-time hazard warnings based off of the drone’s telemetry by calculating a proprietary “safety score” for each flight, based on the operator’s behavior.
SkyWatch says the safety score can be used to set an industry benchmark for operators, who will be more aware of how they fly and will be able to improve their score as they practice. Additionally, the company plans to offer operators unique, on-demand insurance solutions based on this proprietary safety score in coordination with insurance carriers.
SkyWatch notes that its software platform uses a variety of data sources and artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to analyze risks. These include more than 30 drone sensors to predict and prevent potential failures before they ever occur, hyper-local weather mapping (wind, precipitation, and temperature), 3-D airspace and ground mapping, and crowd-density mapping.
“Our discussions with other drone industry leaders all point to the need and demand for the SkyWatch risk management and insurance solution,” says Barak Rabinowitz, managing partner of F2 Capital. “2018 will be a big year for mainstream commercial adoption of drones, and Skywatch is well positioned to help pave the way.”