FlytBase, Inc. – a startup based in Silicon Valley & India – recently closed its Series Seed round of venture financing, as it powers fully autonomous drone fleets for global businesses. The seed funding comes as the company gains traction for its commercial drone automation software, with a focus on high-value enterprise use-cases such as warehouse inventory management, wind turbine inspection, live remote drone operations, and public safety.
Nitin Gupta, CEO, FlytBase, explained: “We have been fortunate to have support from leading incubators and angel investors since our inception. With the most recent round, we now can rapidly build upon our unique competitive position in the global drone ecosystem. Our ability to combine intelligent software with off-the-shelf, cost-effective drones positions us well with enterprise customers, as they mature their drone adoption from PoCs and pilots to fully autonomous, multi-site drone operations. We are focused on developing cutting-edge autonomous systems that solve real-world problems for our customers, at scale”.
The Series Seed round is led by a US-based, early-stage seed fund, and brings not only venture capital, but also a wealth of professional experience and world-class B2B networks to the table. FlytBase holds a unique position in the global commercial drone ecosystem – its FlytOS & FlytCloud software offerings, built & enriched over the years, can enable intelligent automation of most major drone hardware platforms.
Sharvashish Das, Director of Engineering, added: “With an IoT architecture, intelligent plugins and open APIs, our technology platform brings a variety of capabilities to drones – ranging from indoor autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance to precision landing and autonomous charging. This, in turn, is enabled by our team’s expertise in control theory, multi-sensor fusion, SLAM, machine vision, AI/ML, robotics and embedded systems”.
FlytBase’s R&D lab is in Pune, India at the Bhau Institute, a leading engineering startup incubator. The FlytBase team has several decades of cumulative professional experience and holds degrees from IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, Georgia Tech, COEP, University of Maryland – College Park, University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, and the University of Texas – Austin.
Dhiraj Dhule, Head of Strategic Projects, emphasized: “We’ve developed fully autonomous drone solutions for a wide variety of industries for customers in the US, Europe & Japan. Our team’s strengths in automation R&D, as well as scalable solution architecture, have resulted in bleeding-edge solutions for challenging use-cases such as wind turbine inspection where a drone has to precisely scan each turbine blade from each side, all on one battery charge while withstanding tough environmental conditions. This requires a mix of control systems, AI/ML, aerial navigation, path-planning and drone hardware optimization expertise”.
The commercial drone market continues to accelerate worldwide – with indoor applications likely to lead the way, while the security & privacy regulations for outdoor use of drones get developed by aviation authorities across the world. For example, IAG Cargo, part of the same group that owns British Airways, recently highlighted its use of fully autonomous drones for scanning inventory at its air cargo facility – an innovation in warehouse inventory management powered by FlytBase technology. FlytBase was also the global champion at NTT Data’s 2019 Open Innovation contest.
FlytBase continues to rapidly expand its India team – with emphasis on experience and expertise in robotics, control systems, computer vision, machine learning, MEAN stack, Android development, and related technologies.