Industry News

AirMap to Raise Capital to Fund Drones R&D

AirMap, world's leading supplier of software for air traffic management of drones, is about to raise USD26 million from an investment arm of Microsoft

United States: AirMap, which was founded two years ago, is raising USD26 million for financing the research & development of drones by the capital investment arm of Microsoft in United States. Besides Microsoft, other venture capitalists investing in AirMap include the business unit of Airbus, Qualcomm (QCOM), Japan based Rakuten & Sony as well as the Chinese drone manufacturer, Yuneec.

The heavy investment by the prominent companies in the technology of AirMap would allow the company to spread its reach in international markets. With an employee count of 50 people, the company has its head office in Santa Monica, California, whereas, is opening new offices in Berlin and the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, United States.

AirMap has designed a software which operates on autonomous and piloted drones used largely for recreational as well as commercial purposes. The company is directing 80 per cent of traffic management services for all drones, real-time, including robotic aircraft. The traffic handling by AirMap allows various companies to fly drones safely at low altitudes with the share information.

"This round is all about finding a set of partners to help us globalize," AirMap Chief Executive Ben Marcus said in an interview.

Currently, in United States, over 125 airports are using the management dashboard by AirMap for drones to fly, to track flights, supervise digital flight notices and communicate with operators.

As per TechSci Research, the continuous investment in the new drone technology by the leading firms would further assist the drone market to progress at a global scale by increasing consumer awareness and safety measures related to the device’s usage, thereby, enhancing the overall market of drones at a worldwide level.

According to a recent report published by TechSci Research, “Global Commercial Drone Market By Drone Type, By Application, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2015-2021”, over the next decade, rapidly evolving drone technology is expected to transform the conventional way of doing business in various sectors. Evolving regulatory policy framework, increasing commercial applications of drones across various end-use sectors, coupled with advancements in drone technologies are projected to propel growth in global commercial drone market in the ensuing years. Over the last five years, drones were being mainly used in the defense sector across various countries. However, various advantages such as time reduction, easy manoeuvrability and ability to trim down operational costs is increasing usage of commercial drones in diverse application areas such as precision agriculture, mapping, photography, surveying, media and entertainment, law enforcement & public safety, and inspection/monitoring in energy, mining and infrastructure sectors.

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