U.K.-based Altitude Angel, leading UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider, is the latest to receive a new influx of funding as VC investment in the drone industry continues. Altitude Angel has raised £4m ($5.3m US) from one of Europe’s largest VC investors, Octopus Ventures.
“The latest fundraising concludes Altitude Angel’s series A round, led by Octopus Ventures and existing investor Seraphim Capital. It also brings the total invested in Altitude Angel in 2020 to £7.05m ($9.4m),” says an Altitude Angel announcement.
It’s been a stellar year for VC investment in the drone industry. The $100 million raised by U.S. drone manufacturer Skydio set an industry record: investments in drone manufacturing, software, unmanned traffic management, and sensors continue at an incredible rate. In the last few months, more than $60 million in capital funding has flowed to drone industry companies.
Altitude Angel has emerged as an industry leader, winning UTM contracts and deploying its solutions around the world. The additional funding will help it to grow. “The investment will allow Altitude Angel to capitalise on its reputation as the world’s leader in developing and deploying local and national UTM platforms, allowing it to further expand its international presence and in doing so, accelerate the safe and secure use of drones in skies across the globe,” says the announcement. “Following the opening of its Dutch HQ in September, the company will be opening offices local to its international partners in addition to increasing its presence in markets promoting UTM growth through H1 2021.Octopus Ventures’ Zoë Chambers will join the Altitude Angel board, which is chaired by former Microsoft executive Pieter Knook.”
Zoë Chambers, deep tech investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “We’ve been talking about the potential of drones to radically transform all sorts of industries for a long time now, as the number of applications is huge, but for it to be viable, we need a system that can manage drones and, eventually, other types of unmanned air traffic at scale.
“Altitude Angel’s technology solves this problem and allows highly automated drones to be safely integrated within a nation’s airspace and, in doing so, allow drones to be used to survey infrastructure, deliver small parcels, or even deliver important medical supplies, such as donor organs, without disturbing normal air traffic.
“The market opportunity is enormous, and we firmly believe Altitude Angel’s UTM platform will become the blueprint for drone integration and the infrastructure layer for an unmanned air traffic network across the globe. Richard and his team have already made meaningful progress towards this goal and we’re excited to get to work to help realise their vision.”
Richard Parker, Altitude Angel, founder and CEO added: “Altitude Angel has consistently broken new ground in the development and deployment of Unified Traffic Management technology, pioneering the integration of UTM within existing ATM (Air Traffic Management) systems and networks. Our partnership with Octopus Ventures and the investment they have made in our business will allow us to significantly build on the foundations we’ve spent the past years laying.
“The substantial investments made in our company throughout 2020 – during a time of immense globally instability – demonstrate the solid basis for the business we’re building and means we can focus more on accelerating our growth and expansion plans, strengthening our existing solution portfolio and continue to deliver on our vision for the future of automated transport. As countries around the world rebuild from the impact of COVID, we’re going to help them build-back bigger, stronger and, most importantly: equipped to deal with tomorrow’s skies.”
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