Flyability funding got a major boost this week as the company celebrated a 15 million Swiss Franc (CHF) Series C funding round, augmenting their previous CHF 7 million. (CHF 22 million is currently about $22, 645,000 USD.) The companies unique Elios 3 collision safe platform for indoor inspection was on display this week on the floor of Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas.
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M Crosby
Leading indoor inspection drone company Flyability announced its acquisition of CHF 15 million during a Series C funding round, in addition to a previously closed CHF 7 million. Led by Japan’s SBI Investment, the round saw participation from new investors Cargill and Verve Ventures, as well as existing investors such as Dow, ETF Partners, Swisscom, and Future Industry Ventures.
“Following Flyability’s growth since its previous funding round, we were delighted to have the opportunity to invest in such an exciting business,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, the Representative Director, Chairman and President of SBI Investment. “The Flyability team has made outstanding progress over the past 12 months, and we look forward to contributing to the future successes of the business.”
“We are thrilled to announce the closing of this oversubscribed round,” said Flyability co-founder and CEO Patrick Thévoz . “The company is currently growing extremely fast, with close to a thousand customers and offices in the USA, Singapore, China, and Lausanne, fueled by the huge traction for our new product platform, the recently-launched Elios 3.”
Specializing in drone technology for clients in the mining, power generation, energy, chemical, wastewater, and maritime sectors, flyability increases worker safety by offering solutions that enter confined spaces in place of inspectors. This technology also reduces downtimes for inspections, cutting down on expenses. Prior to investing in Flyability, Cargill and Dow have been major customers, utilizing Flyability’s inspection technology to keep their workers out of potential harm.
“For 157 years, Cargill’s commitment to safety has been and continues to be our top priority,” said Julian Chase, Cargill CTO and Head of Business Operations & Supply Chain. “We are very focused on continuing to eliminate potential hazards from our workplace—this partnership with Flyability, and the capabilities they will bring, will help us deliver on that mission.”
“Flyability’s constantly evolving technology has gone beyond simple confined space elimination for visual inspections to a more advanced platform, adding new sensors and capabilities for future expansion,” said Dow’s Global Robotics Technology Leader, Marty Robinson. “Innovative robotic solutions like the Elios 3 continue to accelerate our sustainability and safety goals.”
The Series C funding round follows the launch of Flyability’s Elios 3, the premier collision-tolerant drone featuring a LiDAR sensor for indoor 3D mapping. Elios 3 enables inspectors to visualize their assets via 3D models generated in real time during flight, as well as build survey-grade 3D models post-flight through Flyability and partners’ software.
“Flyability is the global market leader for making industrial indoor and confined space inspections safer, faster, economical, and scalable,” said Susanne Schorsch, Venture Partner at Verve Ventures. “The Flyability team has continuously demonstrated their ability to deliver on target. The new generation Elios 3 is a substantial step towards surveying and digitizing the inaccessible and, ultimately, fully autonomous remote inspections.”
“The maturity of the drone market has evolved remarkably fast in the last three years, with a growing number of customers successfully deploying large fleets and now considering the use of flying robotics as the new standard for inspection,” added Thévoz. “With the launch of the Elios 3 we have seen both existing customers rapidly scaling up their fleets and a huge amount of interest from new industries. We’re now much farther along in the goal we set when we launched Flyability, which was to work towards a future where there are no more humans in dangerous places for inspection tasks.”
The Series C funding round will further aid Flyability in cementing its role as market leader, as well as assist in the development of new sensing and autonomy capabilities for the highly adaptable Elios 3.
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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
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.
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