The company said it expects to bring more than 150 manufacturing jobs to its domestic facilities to support a rapidly growing customer base

February 27, 2023

SAN MATEO, Calif.—Escalating geo-political tensions are underscoring the growing need for secure, autonomous drones in sectors like defense, public safety, and critical infrastructure inspection. After raising $230 million in Series E funding, the U.S. drone manufacturer Skydio will address these critical needs by expanding its U.S. manufacturing and hiring, the company said in a release.

Skydio reported that its new manufacturing facilities in Hayward, California, total more than 36,000 square feet, a 10-fold increase in capacity. To continue to meet demand and support its rapidly growing global customer base, Skydio said it expects to bring more than 150 manufacturing jobs to its facility in Hayward, as well as other U.S. locations.

Adam Bry, co-founder and CEO of Skydio, said in a statement that although the drone industry is “still in the early innings,” Skydio is seeing “extraordinary demand globally from organizations addressing needs important to every citizen.”

“Drones enable the core industries that our civilization runs on—transportation, public safety, energy, construction, communications, defense, and more—to operate more safely and more efficiently, by putting sensors wherever they’re needed, whenever they’re needed, while keeping people safely on the ground,” said Bry. “The transition to autonomy delivers a step change in the accessibility and utility of drones by removing the need for an expert pilot.”

According to the release, Skydio drones are now used by every branch of the U.S. Department of Defense, by over half of all U.S. State Departments of Transportation, by over 200 public safety agencies in 47 states, and across more than 60 energy utilities. The company’s customers are using the drones to automate complex inspection tasks and increase their situational awareness in life and death situations. Skydio said that on the strength of its autonomy technology, it is now the largest drone manufacturer in the United States.

“Skydio drones are being used to save lives and aid in the maintenance of critical infrastructure in ways that sounded like science fiction just a few years ago,” said Bastiaan Janmat, managing director, Linse Capital, in the release. “We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with Skydio as they solidify their position as the world’s most innovative drone technology company.”

The $230 million Series E round is reported to bring Skydio’s total funding raised to $562 million. Linse Capital led the round, joined by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Next47, IVP, DoCoMo, NVIDIA, the Walton Family Foundation, and UP.Partners. Skydio also welcomed new investors Hercules Capital and Axon, a public safety company and key Skydio technology partner.

“Drones bring substantial value in maintaining public safety, in particular in terms of increasing visibility and providing a first line of communications for first responders,” said Henrik Kuhl, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development at Axon, in the release. “Skydio fills a critical need in making that value more readily accessible to key stakeholders such as law enforcement, thanks to the power of autonomy. We are excited to continue our go-to-market and technology partnership with Skydio as we work together to deepen adoption of this technology in public safety.”

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