Lausanne, Switzerland, September 7, 2022—Flyability, the leading indoor inspection drone company, today announced that it has raised an additional CHF 15 million in a Series C funding on top of CHF 7 million that it had already closed.
The round was led by Japan-based SBI Investment with additional new investor participation from Cargill and Verve Ventures. Existing investors also participated, including Dow, ETF Partners, Swisscom, and Future Industry Ventures.
“Following Flyability’s growth since its previous funding round, we were delighted to have the opportunity to invest in such an exciting business,” says Yoshitaka Kitao, the Representative Director, Chairman and President of SBI Investment Co., Ltd. (Tokyo). “The Flyability team has made outstanding progress over the past 12 months, and we look forward to contributing to the future successes of the business.”
“We are thrilled to announce the closing of this oversubscribed round,” says Patrick Thévoz, co-founder and CEO of Flyability. “The company is currently growing extremely fast, with close to a thousand customers and offices in the USA, Singapore, China, and Lausanne, fueled by the huge traction for our new product platform, the recently-launched Elios 3.”
Before investing in Flyability, both Cargill and Dow have been key customers and have used Flyability’s inspection technology to keep their workers out of potentially dangerous spaces during inspections. The implementation of such technology not only helps to improve worker safety but also helps to advance industry 4.0 practices to digitize their asset inspection processes.
“For 157 years, Cargill’s commitment to safety has been and continues to be our top priority,”says Julian Chase, head of Business Operations & Supply Chain and Chief Transformation Officer at Cargill. “We are very focused on continuing to eliminate potential hazards from our workplace—this partnership with Flyability, and the capabilities they will bring, will help us deliver on that mission.”
"Flyability's constantly evolving technology has gone beyond simple confined space elimination for visual inspections to a more advanced platform, adding new sensors and capabilities for future expansion,” says Marty Robinson, Global Robotics Technology Leader at Dow. “Innovative robotic solutions like the Elios 3 continue to accelerate our sustainability and safety goals."
Founded in 2014 by Patrick Thévoz and Adrien Briod, Flyability specializes in drone-based industrial solutions for companies with a focus on the mining, power generation, energy, chemical, wastewater, and maritime industries. Flyability’s drone technology increases safety by reducing the need for inspectors to enter confined spaces. It also significantly reduces downtimes for confined space inspections, resulting in large savings for its clients.
The Series C funding comes just a few months after Flyability launched Elios 3, the world’s first collision-tolerant drone equipped with a LiDAR sensor for indoor 3D mapping. Elios 3 allows inspectors to visualize their assets in 3D models created in real time as the drone flies. Inspectors can create survey-grade 3D models after flights using software from Flyability and its growing list of software partners.
“Flyability is the global market leader for making industrial indoor and confined space inspections safer, faster, economical, and scalable,” says Susanne Schorsch, Venture Partner at Verve Ventures. “The Flyability team has continuously demonstrated their ability to deliver on target. The new generation Elios 3 is a substantial step towards surveying and digitizing the inaccessible and, ultimately, fully autonomous remote inspections.”
“The maturity of the drone market has evolved remarkably fast in the last three years, with a growing number of customers successfully deploying large fleets and now considering the use of flying robotics as the new standard for inspection,” says Thévoz. “With the launch of the Elios 3 we have seen both existing customers rapidly scaling-up their fleets and a huge amount of interest from new industries. We’re now much farther along in the goal we set when we launched Flyability, which was to work towards a future where there are no more humans in dangerous places for inspection tasks.”
The Series C investment will help Flyability further strengthen its position as the market leader. It will also help develop new sensing and autonomy capabilities for the Elios 3, which was designed to be highly adaptable so that it could serve the specific needs of each industry that uses it.
Flyability pioneered confined space inspection drones, creating new technology that allows inspectors to collect data remotely inside dangerous confined spaces instead of in person. Since launching in 2014, Flyability has become a trusted provider of internal inspection solutions, enabling remote data collection with cutting edge hardware and software for inspection professionals to help them improve safety, reduce downtimes, and cut costs for their internal inspections. Today Flyability has offices in Switzerland, China, Singapore, and the U.S., with almost one thousand clients in over 60 countries. Flyability works in every industry that requires internal inspections, including power generation, energy, mining, wastewater infrastructure, chemicals, maritime, and infrastructure & utilities.
More information on www.flyability.com / @fly_ability
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About SBI Investment Co., Ltd.
SBI Investment is one of Japan's leading venture capital firms, focusing on the creation and cultivation of key industries for the 21st century. SBI’s investment portfolio has expanded to include core technologies such as 5G, IoT, big data and now Metaverse and Web 3.0.
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About Verve Ventures
Verve Ventures is a network and technology-driven venture capital firm based in Switzerland. Founded in 2010 by Steffen Wagner and Lukas Weber, Verve Ventures has grown to 50 team members and has become one of the most active venture investors in Europe with around 150 science and technology-driven startups in its portfolio. A dozen investment professionals identify the most promising digital, tangible and health & bio startups. Selected private and institutional investors get access to investment opportunities through a digital platform. The company invests EUR 0.5 million to several million from Seed Stage onward in startups across Europe. Verve Ventures’ dedicated team helps startups with their most pressing needs such as hiring, client introductions and an expert network of high-profile individuals. To join Verve Ventures’ growing pan-European community of entrepreneurs and investors, visit verve.vc.