Santa Monica, Calif.-based AirMap, which offers an airspace management platform for drones, has announced a $26 million Series B funding round led by Microsoft Ventures. Additional participants included Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Rakuten, Sony and Yuneec, as well as existing investors General Catalyst and Lux Capital.
Since the company was founded in 2015, AirMap has raised more than $43 million in investment capital. In April 2016, the company announced a $15 million Series A financing, led by General Catalyst Partners, and in July 2015, it raised $2.6 million in seed funding, led by Lux Capital.
The new Series B funding round will bring AirMap’s airspace management platform and unmanned aircraft traffic management solutions to new markets worldwide; the company is opening offices in Berlin, Germany, and at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
“The strategic partners participating in our Series B financing reflect the diversity of the drone ecosystem and the potential of drones to benefit every sector of our economy,” comments Ben Marcus, CEO of AirMap. “Very soon, millions of drones will fly billions of flights. This is a future that depends on safe, autonomous drone operations at scale. AirMap’s technology will make this future possible, allowing the drones of today – and the autonomous drones of tomorrow – to take flight.”
AirMap’s data and services are embedded into drones, ground control stations and flight apps by drone makers, including DJI and Intel. In addition, more than 125 airports use AirMap’s airspace management dashboard to open surrounding airspace to drones, view past and current drone flights, accept digital flight notices, and communicate with drone operators. The AirMap platform also provides solutions for geo-fencing, remote identification of drones and in-flight deconfliction.
“AirMap is a leader in low-altitude airspace management and will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the drone industry,” says Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president of Microsoft Ventures. “We’re excited to support their growth and, by extension, the growth of commercial and recreational applications for both piloted and autonomous drones. We believe that by investing in companies like AirMap, Microsoft’s resources, platforms and [artificial intelligence] technologies can help fuel the future of the drone ecosystem.”