Elroy Air, an aspiring unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) startup, has taken a major step towards delivering on its mission to help move people and goods safely around the world. The San Francisco-based company recently announced it has raised $40 million in Series A funding from prominent defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
This is the largest single round of external capital ever raised by Elroy Air and marks an important milestone in the organization’s development. The new infusion of capital will enable Elroy Air to hire additional senior executive and engineering staff and further expand its product roadmap. It will also further fuel research into urban air mobility (UAM), a world that Elroy Air is uniquely dedicated to transforming for the better.
Elroy Air is a Silicon Valley-based startup building autonomous drones to transport cargo over long distances. Founded in 2018, the company is working to revolutionize the drone industry with their patent-pending technology.
Recently, Elroy Air announced the successful close of their Series A funding round, which Lockheed Martin and other investors led. The total investment was $40 million, a significant step for Elroy Air.
In this article we’ll look at the background of this deal and its implications for the company.
Elroy Air Overview
Elroy Air is a UAV startup that makes unmanned aerial cargo delivery systems for commercial and military applications. Based in San Francisco, CA, the company was founded in 2016 by Chad Laselle, Kurt Wympel, and Thomas Meyers.
Elroy Air focuses on creating drone platforms that can carry payloads up to several hundred pounds over distances of up to 150 miles while maintaining flight times between 1-2 hours. Elroy’s cargo drones feature features such as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), fully autonomous control, and a range of sense and avoid technologies so they can operate safely in airspace already navigated by manned aircraft.
Elroy has received backing from early-stage investors including Founders Fund, Accomplice Ventures, and larger ones like Lockheed Martin. In November of 2018, Lockheed Martin announced a $40 million Series A round of funding to Elroy Air to accelerate the development of their drone platforms. This round brings total outside funding for the company to $47 million since its founding in 2016 with plans to use the money for research and development and advancing their technology for future commercial product deployments.
Autonomous Drone Technology
Elroy Air, a startup aiming to develop autonomous drone technology, has raised a $40 million Series A led by Lockheed Martin Ventures. The San Francisco-based company uses the funding to expand its engineering, sales, and operations teams.
Elroy Air’s technology can enable drones to autonomously navigate and sense their environment in 3D space with 360-degree LiDAR. This allows for more efficient and accurate package delivery or surveillance operations. In addition, drones powered by Elroy Air’s technology are capable of operating on a single charge for up to four hours at altitudes of up to 500 meters.
The company is currently focused on providing an end-to-end platform that includes hardware, software, and navigation and control services that enable customers such as government agencies or large freight companies to operate their drones safely and autonomously for long distances in urban environments. In addition, the collaboration with Lockheed Martin gives Elroy Air access to the aeronautics giant’s technological expertise as it looks to enter the commercial market with fully autonomous drones in 2021.
Series A Funding
Elroy Air recently announced the successful closing of their Series A round of venture capital funding. The round was led by Lockheed Martin, along with several other investors.
The $40 million in funding will enable Elroy Air to expand their autonomous drone business, which is focused on transporting cargo over long distances.
Overview of Series A Funding
Series A funding is one of the first stages of venture capital financing, in which a business seeks external investment from venture capitalists and other private investors. This type of early-stage funding can be helpful for businesses that need capital to expand, improve operations or hire new staff.
Series A comes after a business has proven its concept and market fit with seed investments from family, friends and angel investors. During this stage, the investor typically becomes a major shareholder in the company and may take significant control over operational decisions.
For Series A investments, businesses normally receive anywhere from three to fifteen million dollars to fuel their next round of growth. This type of large-scale infusion helps cover costs associated with launch marketing campaigns, research and development programs, staff expansion, etc. In return for investing at this level, investors often receive 10-15% equity in the company they fund.
Companies seeking Series A funding often use Freemium business models as an additional incentive. Companies employing this strategy give customers free access to basic versions of their product while charging customers for premium features or services. Freemium models have become increasingly popular among early-stage companies as they generate traction faster than traditional sales cycles while giving investors evidence of user demand before investing large sums of money into a product roll out or expansion.
The funding round was led by Lockheed Martin, a major aerospace and defense manufacturer. Other investors included a group of venture capital firms and strategic investors including Y Combinator, Partnership Fund for New York City, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Plug and Play Ventures, amongst other industry-leading investors.
This new round of funding will help Elroy Air accelerate the development of their next-generation aircraft — the Chaser. The Chaser is designed to deliver packages at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods with greater speed and accuracy than ever before. With innovative technology and strong partnerships, Elroy Air is well positioned to revolutionize last-mile logistics with drone flight automation.
Elroy Air, which is building autonomous drones to transport cargo over long distances, raises $40M Series A from Lockheed Martin and others (Aria Alamalhodaei/TechCrunch)
Elroy Air is a company building autonomous drones to transport cargo over long distances. They’ve just raised $40M in Series A funding from Lockheed Martin and other investors.
This funding will allow Elroy Air to continue to grow and expand their mission of revolutionizing air transportation. Let’s look at Elroy Air’s future plans with this funding.
Expansion of Autonomous Drone Technology
Elroy Air plans to use the newly raised funding to expand its machine learning-based autonomous drone technology. By infusing artificial intelligence into its products, the company hopes to create fully autonomous drones that can reliably fly without a remote pilot.
The new investment from Lockheed Martin will give Elroy Air access to advanced software tools and technologies, enabling it to develop safe, reliable, and cost effective autonomous flight systems. In addition, infusing AI into their products makes autonomous drone technology reliable even in unpredictable weather conditions.
In addition, Elroy Air intends to focus on expanding their fleet capabilities. With the help of partners like Lockheed Martin, they intend to explore different options such as aircrafts with larger cargo capacities and greater range and improved payload flexibility for longer mission duration flights. Through this expansion of their current unmanned aircrafts and remote sensing technologies capabilities, Elroy Air is exploring new avenues for enterprise-scale applications in industries such as agriculture, search and rescue operations, etc.
Elroy Air is excited about the opportunities of securing this major investment from Lockheed Martin. It looks forward to advancing their technologies to meet industry demands for cost-effective commercial drones with an operator on the ground or no human operator.
Plans for Series B Funding
Elroy Air aims to scale beyond its current vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft portfolio and begin production of larger-scale autonomous aerial cargo delivery platforms. With the $40 million raised through its Series A funding round, Elroy Air will make significant strides towards meeting their goals such as expanding their engineering team and operations.
As part of the next phase in their development process, Elroy Air is currently raising a Series B funding round to further accelerate progress towards realizing their conceptual designs. These funds are essential for continued design iteration and for purpose-built infrastructure to support rapid development, testing, certification and ultimately wide-scale commercial deployment according to industry standards.
With the successful completion of this targeted funding effort, Elroy plans to bolster efforts in hardware design and flight software engineering while diversifying its customer base beyond private aerospace customers into both government sector and commercial markets worldwide. Efforts such as these will bring us one step closer to realizing a future air transportation system designed for intergenerational human safety that can quickly respond with precision mobility – delivering people where they need to be faster than ever.
The investment from Lockheed Martin provides Elroy Air with a great opportunity to use its innovation and technology to further advance automated mobility solutions in defense, intelligence and security operations.
This recent series A rounds out Elroy Air’s $50 million fundraising over the last three years. It sets the stage to drive high-precision, autonomous aerial transportation capabilities and related technological innovations while strengthening its footprint in government markets. With Lockheed Martin onboard, Elroy Air’s growth is poised to boost innovation across key industries like defense, energy, aerospace, healthcare and more.
Elroy Air’s venture into self-flying aircrafts is part of a larger global trend toward autonomous transportation systems. Both private businesses and government agencies are looking for cost-effective ways to move goods quickly between remote sites without relying on ground transportation methods. This investment from Lockheed Martin shows their confidence in the potential of Elroy Air’s technology as well as a desire for a more sustainable approach to operations.
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