UAS hardware, software and cloud services provider Airware announced on Wednesday the closing of a $25 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital participating. Mike Abbott of Kleiner Perkins is joining Airware founder Jonathan Downey and Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz on the Airware board.
The funding is part of Airware’s preparation for the commercial launch of its platform later this year and will be used to expand its engineering, sales, marketing, and customer support functions.
“Commercial drones are creating a revolution in insights and countless industries around the world will soon benefit from access to aerial information that, until now, has been too difficult, dangerous, expensive or downright impossible to get,” Downey said in the press release. “To help organizations use drones for any commercial application, we’re building a platform that anyone can customize and build on top of. This funding will accelerate our efforts and we are extremely fortunate that high-caliber investors like Kleiner Perkins are partnering with Airware.”
Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based Airware enables customers to apply unmanned aircraft systems technology to any commercial application by connecting aircraft, sensors, payloads, and application-specific software. Airware began working with leading commercial drone companies as part of its beta program last year, including Delta Drone and Cyber Technology, and has partnered with researchers from MIT (Downey’s alma mater) to evaluate the delivery of vaccines and medicines using a network of commercial drones.
“Building and operating commercial drones is extremely complex and could be radically simplified with a common, flexible platform, ” Abbott said in the press release. “Airware recognized early the opportunity to apply drone intelligence to commercial applications, and is now at the forefront of an industry that will soon experience rapid global expansion. KPCB is excited to support Jonathan and the company on their path as they fuel the commercial drone ecosystem.”
Following a $12.2 million Series A and seed funding led by Andreessen and Google Ventures respectively, Airware has raised $40 million to date.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com