SkyX, an aerospace company based in Ontario, Canada, has received $4m USD of a planned $5m USD investment from Kuang-Chi Group, a Chinese technology group based in Shenzhen that focuses on investing in cutting-edge aerospace solutions. SkyX has developed a self-charging drone for use in the monitoring of long-range assets like oil and gas pipelines.
The autonomous drones have been developed to inspect pipelines for damage and provide clients with mapping and security surveillance. SkyX is looking to help the oil and gas industry limit its reliance on road vehicles and manned aircraft to improve efficiency and lower costs.
The SkyOne model offers Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities, while providing remote recharging feature into the field. This removes the need for the drone to return to base. Instead, they fly to a local xStation and recharge in a specially designed dome that also provides protection from any inclement weather. The drone then continues to complete its mission.
Kuang-Chi launched an international innovation fund in 2016, known as the Kuang-Chi GCI Fund (GCI Fund), to invest in companies worldwide. Kuang-Chi has been investing funds in SkyX in a series of tranches at key milestones with a total planned investment amount of $5m USD. Kuang-Chi transferred its latest investment tranche earlier this week after SkyX reached yet another development milestone.
Didi Horn, founder of SkyX, commented that “Kuang-Chi is a fantastic example of a visionary disruptive technology investor that is prepared to provide value-added support to start-ups operating in key industrial sectors, like oil and gas. SkyX and Kuang-Chi are a perfect fit, sharing a sense of adventure and passion for innovation. We are excited to have Kuang-Chi on board both as a financial and also crucially as a strategic partner helping us grow our markets and develop our products.”
Dr. Ruopeng Liu, Chairman of Kuang-Chi, said: “SkyX has developed ground-breaking technology and we had no hesitation in providing our full backing to this exciting project. SkyX is exactly the type of company in which we at Kuang-Chi look to invest – innovative, disruptive, visionary and commercially attractive. This is a project with which we are passionate to be involved and we are excited to be part of the SkyX journey.”
Doron Zauer, Board Member at SkyX, added: “SkyX is looking to disrupt the pipeline monitoring market by developing drones that have the capability to travel further, for longer, at lower cost and with more accurate data than anything on the market. Kuang-Chi is the optimal investor for SkyX and I am looking forward to seeing this mutually beneficial partnership strengthen and deepen.”