SkySafe, an airspace security and management technology company, today announced a $30 million Series B investment led by Kingfisher Investment Advisors with participation from new investors Gaingels, and MIT alumni investment fund Castor Ventures. Previous investor Andreessen Horowitz, who led the seed and Series A investments, also joined the round. To date, SkySafe has raised $45 million in total financing. The fresh capital will help further accelerate the company’s growth through strategic hiring, R&D, and expanded production of its airspace security system for commercial adoption.
SkySafe’s technology applies advanced radio technology, reverse engineering, and deep threat analysis to provide the infrastructure needed for the commercial drone industry. The SkySafe system delivers in-depth airspace awareness, differentiating authorized drones from those that may pose a threat. Its modular hardware and software can be tailored to specific regulatory environments to protect public spaces from potential drone threats. Simultaneously, it supports the adoption of commercial drone use for surveying, disaster relief, delivery, hobbyists and other consumer applications.
According to the FAA, there are more than 900,000 drones registered in the United States today, with nearly 3.5 million total drones currently in use. The global commercial drone market is projected to reach $58.4 billion in 2026.
“As our airspace gets more crowded with drones, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure those flying over our airports, stadiums, borders and other public spaces are authorized to be there,” said SkySafe Founder and CEO, Grant Jordan. “SkySafe has created an airspace awareness system for drones, to offer visibility, accountability, and ultimately, safety. Without this infrastructure for drones, it’s difficult to build public trust and scale commercial use. It’s critical to adoption as drones increasingly become important tools for things like utility inspections, airline maintenance, delivery, and aerial photography.”
“The intersection between physical and cyber security is an Achilles’ Heel of many organizations. We believe that SkySafe’s proprietary technology enables government and private sector customers to identify and mitigate in real-time these mission critical threats,” said newly-appointed SkySafe board member Yariv Robinson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kingfisher Investment Advisors. “The Company has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to rapidly and efficiently deploy its solutions with new customers. Kingfisher is thrilled to partner with SkySafe and believes the Company has a potential to become the category-defining company in this vital sector.”
As demonstrated in the 2018 Gatwick airport incident, speed and accuracy are critical to airspace management. When a hobbyist drone came within airport boundaries, more than 1,000 flights were diverted or cancelled and an estimated 140,000 passengers were affected during the two days it took to identify the potential threat. The incident caused panic, significant financial loss for the international airport and massive disruption to operations. With SkySafe’s technology, the Gatwick incident could have been completely avoided. What took days could have been solved in minutes.
(Look complete BS from Skysafe, not one part of this happened (ed))
“With drone policy and regulations still in development, commercial drone use will be stymied without technology helping to pave the way for its widespread and safe adoption,” said Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) and a partner at Hogan Lovells. “SkySafe has been a leader in the industry moving drone security policy development forward.”
Founded in 2015 by former U.S. Air Force Officer Grant Jordan, along with fellow MIT alum Scott Torborg and Michael Spindel with co-founder Paul Wicks, SkySafe has scaled quickly and reached profitability in 2020. As the recognized industry expert in drone forensic data extraction, the company’s technology has evolved to include the development of a fixed, mobile or temporarily installed hardware and software system to serve as the infrastructure for airspace safety. The SkySafe team includes individuals hailing from MIT, UC San Diego, Toyota, AWS, Samsung, the Air Force Research Lab, US Navy, and the Special Operations community.
“Skysafe and Gaingels are aligned on the mission to build a better ecosystem for private companies with more diversity and equity,” said Lorenzo Thione, Managing Director of Gaingels. “As Grant and his team build a global company with global aspirations, they are also building a global and interconnected culture and team with diversity at the core.”
SkySafe technology is deployed to customers globally in more than 30 countries. International airports, prisons, stadiums, border patrol, law enforcement agencies, and U.S. and allied militaries all use the technology. SkySafe serves its growing base of customers from its San Diego headquarters and with this financing plans to grow its team and scale up production of systems. The company holds a board position with the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA).
Founded in 2015 in San Diego, CA, SkySafe provides world-class drone defense and airspace control solutions. It provides military, public safety, and commercial customers with comprehensive airspace management and control. SkySafe applies advanced radio technology, reverse engineering, and deep threat analysis to develop tools to safely and effectively operate authorized drones while protecting against threats for airspace security. For more information, visit: https://www.skysafe.io/
ABOUT KINGFISHER INVESTMENT ADVISORS
Kingfisher Investment is a venture growth firm focused on mid and late-stage technology companies, with a bias towards enterprise software and corporate IT Infrastructure. Over the years, many of the companies Kingfisher invested in have become category leaders (and sometimes household names), including: Arista Networks, Coursera, DocuSign, Domo, Fastly, Five9, Lyft, Palantir Technologies, Planet Labs, RingCentral, and SimilarWeb. With offices in San Francisco, CA and Boulder, CO, Kingfisher is currently investing from its fourth vintage which launched in April 2021 and was oversubscribed at launch.
Gaingels is the leading investment syndicate in support of and representing the LGBTQ community and allies in the venture capital space. With over $380,000,000 deployed into a portfolio of over 600 companies since 2018, Gaingels is also the co-founder of Mathison.io and provides an internal at-cost diverse board member/observer recruitment advisory for our portfolio companies. Gaingels invests in companies with LGBT founders and C-suite leaders at all stages of growth, as well as in other high-growth companies resolved on building more inclusive teams. Gaingels is a founding co-signer of the Diversity Term Sheet Rider Initiative to increase access to venture funding events for non-traditional check writers, and regularly co-invests with select VC leads across a variety of sectors, from technology, to B2B, healthcare and consumer, in competitive and over-subscribed rounds from Seed to Growth/pre-IPO. For more information visit www.gaingels.com.
ABOUT CASTOR VENTURES
Castor Ventures is a network-powered venture capital fund for a community of MIT alumni investors, entrepreneurs, and friends. Part of Alumni Ventures, we create and offer diversified and personalized venture portfolios for accredited investors, investing alongside other established venture firms in a broad range of ventures. Our network is our source of capital and differentiation. Our community enables us to access exciting new investments and add value to our portfolio companies. We seek to grow, engage and learn with an inclusive community of stakeholders to create difference-making ventures.