SkyWatch, a “data analysis, risk-assessment and active risk-reduction platform for the drone industry,” has announced $2 million in a Seed round.
The funding comes from F2 Capital, Verizon Ventures and Kaedan Capital with “participation of former senior insurance executives from companies like Axa and Liberty Mutual, and world-class leaders in the drone industry,” says a company announcement. “SkyWatch will use the financing to continue building its innovative platform, enabling drone service providers to track important safety metrics during flight planning, flight execution and post-flight, and build on-demand insurance solutions.”
SkyWatch has a unique offering. Unlike other on-demand insurance offerings, the SkyWatch solution uses AI-based algorithms to analyze the risk for drone missions, and offers discounts for safer pilots flying lower-risk missions. On a broader level, risk-based categories are how regulators plan to implement drone laws. At the application level, SkyWatch provides a flight safety tool for commercial and recreational pilots.
“Goldman Sachs expects the drone industry to grow by $100 billion over the next five years as more businesses rely on them to complete tasks,” said Tomer Kashi, CEO & Co-Founder of SkyWatch. “Safety is often cited as one of the top setbacks for the industry. SkyWatch will revolutionize drone safety by giving operators a holistic, one-stop solution to manage their flight safety. As more pilots improve their safety standards, regulators will lower the bar and open the skies to more operators, thus expanding this already emerging market.”
“SkyWatch’s mobile application will be available on iOS and Android to both business and recreational operators in Q1 2018. The application will connect to most unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of choice and allow operators to get real-time hazard warnings based off of the drone’s telemetry, calculating a proprietary “safety score” for each flight, based on the operator’s behavior,” says the announcement. “The “safety score” can be used to set an industry benchmark for operators, who will be more aware of how they fly, and will be able to improve their score as they practice better, safer flights. Additionally, the company plans to offer operators unique on-demand insurance solutions based on this proprietary safety score in coordination with leading insurance carriers.”
“As a global leader in fleet management and mobile workforce solutions, we appreciate the importance of AI driven solutions to planning, executing and analyzing mobility while mitigating risk and cutting costs,” said Roni Burrell, Director at Verizon Ventures Israel.
SkyWatch’s software platform uses a variety of data sources and AI based algorithms to analyze risks. These include more than 30 drone sensors to predict and prevent potential failures before they ever occur, hyper-local weather mapping (wind, precipitation, and temperature), 3-D airspace and ground mapping, and crowd density mapping.
“Our discussions with other drone industry leaders all point to the need and demand for the SkyWatch risk management and insurance solution,” said Barak Rabinowitz, Managing Partner of F2 Capital. “2018 will be a big year for mainstream commercial adoption of drones and SkyWatch is well positioned to help pave the way.”
“We are very happy to join Ori, Ronny and Tomer on their journey,” said Liad Rubin, Director on behalf of Kaedan Capital. “Their unique approach to problem-solving and their expertise in machine learning and data analytics is going to impact the way the drone industry deals with safety in the coming years”.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.