Israeli Drone Maker Airobotics said on Thursday it raised $32.5 million in a private funding round led by BlueRun Ventures China, Microsoft Ventures , OurCrowd and another strategic investor
It also received funding from existing investors including, CRV, BRV, Waze CEO Noam Bardin, Richard Wooldridge (former Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and retired chief operating officer of Google ATAP), and David Roux, the co-founder and former chairman of Silver Lake Partners.
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The current round of financing raises the total capital invested in the company to $ 61 million.
Founded in 2014, Aerobotics has developed a fully automated platform that provides a comprehensive first-of-its-kind air data collection solution for industrial companies and is now setting up a new Homeland Security and Defense division. The new division will focus on activities such as border protection and sensitive installations, and will not include skis for offensive use. The company also initiate a use of fully automated drones to perform emergency tasks in cities.
Airobotics said the funds will meet growing demand in the mining and homeland security industries and go towards investing in its business development efforts and expansion of industrial facilities.
Ran Kraus, the company’s co-founder and CEO, told Calcalist, “Israel is a leader in aviation because of companies like Israel Aerospace Industries. There is no other country in the world that has such a supply of engineers in the field. When you want to set up a brigade at the end of the security of the homeland, it is better to bring someone who worked on Iron Dome before and not in making toys. ”
Airobotics is the first company in the world to be granted authorization to fly fully automated drones without a pilot, as licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), which positions the company as a world-leader in the field of automated drones.
“We are in the final stages of receiving such approval in Australia and are also starting the process in the US,” Kraus told Calcalist, “We developed the system together with the Civil Aviation Administration to ensure that we meet the required standards and obtain such approval in one Western country,” he said.
“Within a year and a half we hope to enter the cities, but not in the format of transferring packages, but rather for emergency response,” explains Kraus. “In cases such as a car accident or a security incident. The ability to send a hovercraft to take video and transmit information to the security and rescue forces can save lives. We are not talking about hundreds of hustlers who will shatter the city’s skies but on a few isolated systems.”
Aerobotics currently employs about 150 employees, most of them in Israel, but it has a representative office in Australia and hopes to recruit 50 new employees in the near future.