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Cute little drones are really cool right now — Box’s Aaron Levie even brought one out onstage at the BoxDev conference two months ago for no reason other than to entertain the audience.
In fact, they’re so lovable, that the company behind that particular one, Skycatch, has raised about $13.2 million in equity funding, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. About $3 million of that is from a previous round of convertible debt, according to the document.
As usual, the information from the document is limited, but Avalon Venture’s Richard Levandov is listed as a director, signaling that Avalon likely led the round and Levandov is joining the board as a result. There is also no mention currently of Skycatch on Avalon’s website, possibly because it was not previously an investor.
Levandov is a 25-year veteran, according to his bio on Avalon’s website, and he cofounded Phoenix Technologies (PTEC), “a company that helped launch the PC revolution.” He was also a vice president at America Online in its early days.
Skycatch makes autonomous drones that can fly around and capture HD imagery and video. Drone owners can control their aerial gizmos through Skycatch’s website and apps, or through custom apps built with the Skycatch API.
Cofounder Christian Sanz has said that he’s tested the drones with farming and it’s an industry that definitely benefit greatly from them. “We never had this data set before. One of my guys says this is Google Maps, but in real time and high-def.”
The company’s site lists construction, mining, and solar as additional use cases for its drones and API. DPR, First Solar, and Bechtel are included as customers.
Earlier this month, French gadget maker Parrot unveiled a Bebop Drone equipped with an ultra-light body and a 14-megapixel fish-eye camera. There’s also been a lot of buzz around shipping-by-drones recently, notably because of Amazon’s announcement that it might offer such a feature and because of companies like Matternet that are out to make it possible.
Skycatch was founded in 2013 by Christian Sanz and Christopher Bumgardner and is located in San Francisco. It previously raised $3.2 million in seed funding, and its investors include Google, Sherpalo, and Sierra Maya Ventures.
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