Airpelago closes pre-seed round with VEQ – sUAS News – The Business of Drones
Airpelago has closed a pre-seed round with lead investor VEQ. Further expansion now awaits the Swedish tech startup which has developed a solution for automating the inspection of power lines using off-the-shelf drones.
”Drones will soon be the first choice for the inspection of overhead power lines. It’s just a question about how soon. The transition to start using drones has already begun and the right time for scaling is now. We see a market that is ready to take off with drones now being good enough, a new drone regulation framework harmonized throughout the EU, and increased client awareness. To be able to continue developing our product at a high pace and to accelerate our sales efforts, we need capital and knowledgeable investors – which we have found in VEQ” says Max Hjalmarsson, CEO of Airpelago.
Airpelago’s cloud-based software, Drone Mission Control (DMC), is indispensable for conducting inspections of large linear assets, such as power line grids, with drones. It’s the first solution that makes drones a cost-competitive option. DMC generates customer value in four main ways: by increasing efficiency through automated inspections, by ensuring consistent data, by providing project overview and enabling multi-crew coordination, and finally by assisting with regulatory compliance.
“Flying is for droids! By automating the in-field operations we increase the efficiency of drones by more than 500% compared to manual operations. Our software increases the quality of the inspection, and it also lowers the cognitive workload for the drone pilots, which effectively reduces the risk of fatigue, allows for more productive workdays, and reduces the need for drone pilot training. Our goal is that anyone should be able to fly drones for efficient and safe inspection of power lines.” says Fredrik Falkman, Co-founder of Airpelago.
“We are impressed by the Airpelago team. Besides having extensive experience from the drone ecosystem, they have managed to build a modular software that effectively solves a concrete customer need. We believe that Airpelago is well equipped to meet the increased competition we now see in this market and we are proud to be a part of their journey says Viktor Gällström, Partner at VEQ
“We provide support software for conducting efficient inspection of power lines with drones. Our goal is to enable the transition from helicopters to drones, but replacing helicopters is just the start and the tip of the value pyramid. By giving our customers access to much more insight, they can plan their work better, prevent blackouts, increase grid uptime and flatten the overall maintenance cost”, says Tobias Fridén, CTO and Co-founder of Airpelago.
“The future looks bright and the market is growing. We estimate the EU market for power line inspections to be worth € 500 million annually, with around 10 million kilometers to be inspected every year. With society’s increasing demand for stable and reliable power supply, the need for a well inspected and maintained power grid is self-evident. With the transition towards a fully electrified transportation sector the demand increases even further”, Hjalmarsson says.
“With our advanced route planning algorithms, the reduced need for pilot skills which facilitates the scaling of operations, and with a drone-platform agnostic software, we look forward to expanding our operations together with our new investors VEQ and our growing team”, Fridén says.
Airpelago’s software Drone Mission Control allows for safe and efficient inspection of power lines and other linear infrastructures such as rail, road and pipelines. Customers vary from asset owners with their own service divisions, to their subcontractors specializing in the inspection of infrastructure assets.
VEQ invests in early-stage companies with innovative, digital, and scalable businesses, where technology is at the core of the product or the way the company delivers the product. We want to help entrepreneurs turn their good ideas into profitable businesses, and we’re looking to partner up with diverse teams that want to make a positive impact.