Unifly, the developer of unmanned traffic management (UTM) software, announced the closing of its B-series fundraising round. With the help of new and existing investors, the Antwerp-based start-up is walking away with seventeen million euros in new capital. Unifly’s UTM solution is used to track and manage drones and commercial aviation, in order to provide visibility on where the unmanned aircrafts can fly. Additionally, the system facilitates a requests and flight approvals process, as well as manages potential conflicts and implements regulations including no-fly zones.
Data and analytics company, PWC, estimates the global market potential for commercial use of drones at more than 100 billion euros, but the growing deployment of unmanned aircrafts gives rise to challenges including safety, security and privacy. For reasons like this, Unifly has already gained national level contracts with the air navigation service providers of Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Austria, as well as several regions in the US – in addition to managing drone corridors in Japan, Malawi and others.
Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly: “This funding round will enable us to continue building our world-leading features and to expand the product offering. This now includes the BLIP, which acts as an electronic license plate for drones, combined with high-precision drone tracking.” He continues, “Future markets could be even larger, with the rise of air taxis, with integration between autonomous cars and drones, and with drone UTM software predicted to take over traditional aircrafts as they become increasingly automated.”
The most recent investors include Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS)and the sovereign wealth fund of Belgium, FPIM, which manages federal share holdings and pursues further investment in the interest of Belgium’s economy by acquiring equity in companies that are of strategic importance. Some existing investors such as Terra Drone (Japan), QBIC and PMV (Belgian early-stage investors) also participated in the funding round.