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Fotokite raises $11M for autonomous tethered drone in firefighting and public safety

Fotokite raises $11M funding to expand global reach of tethered drone technology for public safety

Fotokite AG, a Swiss-American company developing tethered drones for firefighting and public safety teams, has closed its Series B funding round, securing CHF 10 million (approximately $11 million). This investment aims to accelerate the company’s growth, bolster research and development (R&D) efforts, and expand its global operations.

Drones are surely becoming very helpful these days. Only recently, we reported about Broswarm, a military tech startup that raised $100K to combat landmine crisis in Ukraine using drones. Moreover, yet another startup, Dronamics claims to be the world’s first cargo drone airline headquartered in Bulgaria.

The funding round was led by Carbyne Equity Partners, a European private equity firm specialising in growing European businesses, along with existing investors including Swisscanto Private Equity Growth I, and Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd. 

Related to the funding round, Markus Petersen, Managing Partner at Carbyne, said, “Fotokite’s technology and leadership team align with our investment strategy. We are pleased to support their efforts to commercialise their products internationally and continuously develop them to better equip first responders for critical missions.”

What is Fotokite’s solution

This funding solidifies Fotokite’s position as a major player in the tethered drone technology market for emergency response. Their solutions, recognized for their effectiveness and reliability in critical situations, empower first responders with advanced aerial capabilities. These capabilities enhance situational awareness, streamline search and rescue operations, and potentially save lives.

The company’s official website says that one of their products, Fotokite Sigma system, prioritises ease of use for first responders facing critical situations. With a simple push of a button, the drone launches automatically, eliminating the need for manual setup.

Simultaneously, a rugged tablet displays a live aerial view, allowing responders to adjust the camera angle or deployment height with intuitive swiping gestures. This system provides real-time aerial intelligence, offering crucial situational awareness in the moments it matters most.

What will the funding be used for

The recent investment allows Fotokite to expand its public safety customer base, explore new market opportunities, develop additional product features, and scale up operations. Their global reach has also significantly increased, with operations now spanning six continents.

Bart Slager, CEO of Fotokite, commented on the milestone saying, “This funding round is a significant achievement for our company. It demonstrates confidence in our vision and the value our autonomous solutions offer to first responders. With expanded resources and a global reach, we are positioned to make a greater impact, helping emergency response teams save lives and protect communities worldwide.”

What we think about the startup

Fotokite’s successful funding round reflects growing interest in tethered drone technology within the public safety sector. The additional resources will allow the company to expand its market presence, develop new features, and potentially improve the effectiveness of emergency response operations. 

And with regards to its applications in firefighting and public safety require a nuanced understanding of the situation beyond basic object detection. Factors like fire intensity, smoke patterns, or the location of people might be crucial. Relying solely on automated analysis in such complex scenarios might not be optimal. Hence, it is important to note that the long-term impact and overall effectiveness of this technology in real-world scenarios requires further research and data collection. 

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