Skydio soars into 2023 as it meets critical infrastructure need
Skydio, the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight, today announced it has raised $230 million in funding following a year that saw its enterprise customer base exceed 1,200 organizations, just three years after entering the enterprise and public sector market.
Skydio drones are now used by every branch of the U.S. Department of Defense, by over half of all U.S. State Departments of Transportation, by over 200 public safety agencies in 47 states and across more than 60 energy utilities. Additionally, Skydio is used by enterprises in over a dozen other industries. These customers are automating complex inspection tasks and getting situational awareness in life and death situations. On the strength of its autonomy technology, Skydio is now the largest drone manufacturer in the United States.
The $230 million Series E round brings Skydio’s total funding raised to $562 million with a current valuation of over $2.2 billion. Linse Capital led the round, joined by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Next47, IVP, DoCoMo, NVIDIA, the Walton Family Foundation and UP.Partners. Skydio also welcomed new investors Hercules Capital and Axon, a technology leader in global public safety and a key Skydio technology partner.
“Drones enable the core industries that our civilization runs on—transportation, public safety, energy, construction, communications, defense, and more—to operate more safely and more efficiently, by putting sensors wherever they’re needed, whenever they’re needed, while keeping people safely on the ground. The transition to autonomy delivers a step change in the accessibility and utility of drones by removing the need for an expert pilot,” said Adam Bry, co-founder and CEO of Skydio. “We are still in the early innings of the industry, but we are seeing extraordinary demand globally from organizations addressing needs important to every citizen.
Today’s funding and expansion news comes on the heels of the announcement of Skydio Dock and Skydio Dock Lite, powered by Skydio’s new Remote Ops software, which enable drones to be flown without an operator on site at all. Skydio also recently launched Regulatory Services which are beginning to break through the Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) barrier with approvals for customers to operate Skydio drones beyond line of sight, including fully remote operations. The combination of technology maturity and regulatory progress for fully autonomous operations marks an inflection point for the industry.
Skydio’s 30x growth over the past three years has led to recognition as the one of the fastest-growing North American companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ awards. The growth comes against the backdrop of a market that has historically been dominated by manually flown drones made by companies based in China that are beholden to China’s governmental policy. Escalating geo-political tensions have sharpened the need for secure, trustworthy drones to serve critical infrastructure, public safety, and defense customers.
Skydio tackles these challenges with world-leading autonomous flight technology, paired with manufacturing scale in the United States – something many didn’t think was possible in the drone industry just a few years ago. Over the last year, Skydio increased its overall headcount by 40%. Skydio also revealed its new U.S. manufacturing facilities in Hayward, CA, which total over 36,000 square feet, a 10x increase in capacity. To continue to meet demand and support its rapidly growing global customer base, Skydio expects to bring over 150 manufacturing jobs to its facility in Hayward, CA and other U.S. locations.
“Skydio drones are being used to save lives and aid in the maintenance of critical infrastructure in ways that sounded like science fiction just a few years ago,” offered Bastiaan Janmat, Managing Director, Linse Capital. “We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with Skydio as they solidify their position as the world’s most innovative drone technology company.”
“Drones bring substantial value in maintaining public safety, in particular in terms of increasing visibility and providing a first line of communications for first responders. Skydio fills a critical need in making that value more readily accessible to key stakeholders such as law enforcement thanks to the power of autonomy,” said Henrik Kuhl, SVP, Strategy & Corporate Development at Axon. “We are excited to continue our go-to-market and technology partnership with Skydio as we work together to deepen adoption of this technology in public safety.”
Additional highlights in 2022 included the following:
Skydio is the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio leverages breakthrough AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by consumers, enterprises, and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in AI, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in San Mateo, CA, and manufacturing facilities in Hayward, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain, manufacturing and data security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreessen Horowitz, Linse Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.