Skydio Raises $230M as It Provides Drones for Critical Infrastructure, Defense Needs

Skydio said it has grown more than 30x in the past three years, making it the leading U.S. drone provider.


Skydio plans to use its Series E funding to grow its manufacturing staff in the U.S.
Skydio, which has developed drones for the defense and enterprise markets, has reached $2.2 billion valuation as it expands manufacturing in the U.S.

Skydio Inc. yesterday announced that it has raised $230 million in Series E funding. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company reported that its customer base exceeded 1,200 organizations last year, just three years after it entered the enterprise and public-sector markets.

“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,” stated Adam Bry, co-founder and CEO of Skydio.

“The transition to autonomy delivers a step change in the accessibility and utility of drones by removing the need for an expert pilot,” he added. “We are still in the early innings of the industry, but we are seeing extraordinary demand globally from organizations addressing needs important to every citizen.”

Founded in 2014, Skydio said it employs leading experts in artificial intelligence, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities around the world. The company claimed that it designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. “to meet the highest standards of supply chain, manufacturing, and data security.”

Skydio expands U.S. drone production

Skydio's funding and expansion news came shortly after its announcement of Skydio Dock and Skydio Dock Lite. They are powered by its new Remote Ops software, which enable drones to be flown without an operator on site.

The company also recently launched a Regulatory Services effort to “break through the beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) barrier” with approvals for customers to operate its drones fully remotely. “The combination of technology maturity and regulatory progress for fully autonomous operations marks an inflection point for the industry,” asserted Skydio.

The combination of autonomous flight technology and manufacturing at scale in the U.S. has not been seen in the drone industry, it said. Much of drone production and innovation had moved overseas in the past several years, but Skydio said it is now the largest drone manufacturer in the U.S.

Over the past year, Skydio has increased its overall headcount by 40%. Its new facility in Hayward, Calif., has more than 36,000 sq. ft., a 10x increase in capacity. With the new funding, the company said it plans to bring more than 150 manufacturing jobs to its Hayward factory and other U.S. locations to meet demand and support its growing global customer base.

Public and private sector usage growing

More than half of the state departments of transportation, over 200 public-safety agencies in 47 states, and more than 60 energy utilities use Skydio drones, said the company.

Enterprises in over a dozen other industries use Skydio's drones, it said. These customers are automating complex inspection tasks and getting situational awareness in life-and-death situations.

For instance, Skydio said it executed an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to support first responders in the wake of Hurricane Ian. In addition, very branch of the U.S. Department of Defense now uses Skydio drones, said the company.

Skydio won the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) Program of Record following a competition that included dozens of the world’s leading drone companies. Valued up to $99.8 million, the program equips Army infantry platoons with Skydio’s AI-enabled drones to provide situational awareness on the battlefield.

Series E leads to $2.2B valuation

Skydio's $230 million Series E round brings its total funding raised to $562 million with a current valuation of over $2.2 billion. Linse Capital led the round, joined by existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Next47, IVP, DoCoMo, NVIDIA, the Walton Family Foundation, and UP.Partners.

“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,” noted Bastiaan Janmat, Managing Director, Linse Capital. “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 company also welcomed new investors Hercules Capital and Axon, a global leader in public-safety technology and a 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 of strategy and corporate development at Axon.

“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,” he said. “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.”

U.S. drone maker responds to global challenges

With more than 30x growth over the past three years, Skydio gained recognition as the one of the fastest-growing North American companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 awards. It noted that manually piloted drones made by Chinese companies and beholden to the PRC's government have dominated the drone market.

Escalating geopolitical tensions have sharpened the need for secure, trustworthy drones to serve critical infrastructure, public safety, and defense customers, said Skydio. 

The company said it has donated more than $300,000 in drones and training services to Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion.

Skydio developed the Skydio Engagement and Responsible Use Principles, a groundbreaking set of policy and ethical principles to guide its work and drive the industry forward.

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Skydio plans to use its Series E funding to grow its manufacturing staff in the U.S.

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