A leading manufacturer of drone defence systems has raised $20m (£14.9m) to develop new technology that will strengthen the protection of public venues from enemy drones.
Airspace Systems drummed up support from a Series A funding round led by Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of Singtel with participation from s28 Capital and previous investors Shasta Ventures and Granite Hill Capital Partners, to reach the $20m target.
Now with the funding the company will produce the Airspace Command Center (AC2), a comprehensive drone defense system, at scale and expand its Silicon Valley-based machine vision, navigation and systems teams.
Jeff Karras, MD of investments at Singtel Innov8, and who will join Airspace’s board of directors, said that demand for protecting any public venues from potential drone threats was growing ‘rapidly’.
He added that until now, there has not been a drone defence technology that integrates all of Airspace’s best capabilities.
The Mobile Airspace Command Center(MAC2), Airspace’s latest solution, identifies potential threats in the sky and when a rogue drone is spotted, it deploys a variety of countermeasures including the Airspace Interceptor, which autonomously navigates and reacts to a rogue drone’s every move and then safely captures and removes enemy drones.
Airspace was founded by engineers who previously worked at Apple, Google and Cisco Systems and backed by early investors of Nest, Palantir and Skype.
“We’re leveraging the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence, computer vision, high-speed robotics and neural networks to create something like a firewall in the sky,” said CEO Jaz Banga, the only counter-drone executive on the DAC (FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee). “We’re building the complete drone security system that lets the good drones in and keeps the bad ones out.”