Christina Cardoza

Feb 23, 2017 10:09:25 AM

AirMap’s airspace-management platform for drones is getting more backing. The company has announced a US$26 million series B round of funding led by Microsoft Ventures. The funding will help AirMap expand its platform and unmanned aircraft traffic management solutions worldwide.

“The strategic partners participating in our series B financing reflect the diversity of the drone ecosystem and the potential of drones to benefit every sector of our economy,” said AirMap CEO and cofounder Ben Marcus. “Very soon, millions of drones will fly billions of flights. This is a future that depends on safe, autonomous drone operations at scale. AirMap’s technology will make this future possible, allowing the drones of today, and the autonomous drones of tomorrow, to take flight.”

0223.interdrone-airmap.jpegAirMap’s platform is designed to give drone operators and businesses real-time airspace information and services. According to the company, drones will continue to provide more value to users over the next couple of years, and operators have been to be able to fly safely while being able to react and adapt to changes in their environment. AirMap wants to ensure drones and operators can sense, understand and communicate; safely fly in cities and rural areas; get real-time information about traffic, wildfires, events, and other activities; and avoid any obstacles in their way.

“When we pair this airspace intelligence, provided by AirMap, with new advances in wireless connectivity and innovations in drone hardware, we will significantly accelerate widespread adoption of drone-enabled services. When drones can be tasked with the push of a button, safe routes can be calculated in fractions of a second, and changing conditions can be communicated to drones in real time, we’ll see millions of drones fly billions of flights and contribute to practically every sector of our economy,” wrote cofounders Marcus and Gregory McNeal in a blog post.

The additional funding brings the company’s total funding to more than $43 million. Investors include Microsoft Ventures, Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Rakuten, Sony, and Yuneec.

“AirMap is a leader of low-altitude airspace management, and will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the drone industry,” said Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president of Microsoft Ventures. “We’re excited to support their growth and, by extension, the growth of commercial and recreational applications for both piloted and autonomous drones. We believe that by investing in companies like AirMap, Microsoft’s resources, platforms and AI technologies can help fuel the future of the drone ecosystem.”

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