Altitude Angel, the drone management platform and airspace integration start-up, has today announced a USD $4.5m Series A funding round led by the Seraphim Space Fund, with participation from ADV and Frequentis AG.
This Series A round of venture funding enables Altitude Angel to bring its purpose-built GuardianUTM platform for U-Space and Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management (UTM) into new territories. The Reading, UK-based business will also expand its on-the-ground commercial and engineering presence with new offices in Europe and North America, transitioning further into the aviation industry.
Altitude Angel as the platform of choice
GuardianUTM is already used by millions of people and drones around the world to obtain information about where it is safe to fly, get on-demand insurance and to interact with aviation stakeholders at airport towers or in air traffic control rooms. It’s fast becoming the platform of choice for national drone operations globally.
Altitude Angel’s geospatial database covers more than 80 countries and is a key component of its autonomous drone navigation system. This allows any drone to tap into its situational awareness database, helping them go beyond the line of sight of the operator. Altitude Angel’s long-term goal is to use its platform to enable millions of autonomous drones to fly – safely – without any human pilots.
“Drones have the power to revolutionise business and transform lives,” said Altitude Angel Founder & CEO, Richard Parker, also a board member of the Global UTM Association. “We’re at the start of an aerial revolution that’s driven by low-cost drone hardware. Altitude Angel’s technologies are key to unlocking their potential to be flown autonomously, without a human pilot, ensuring they’re safe and fit in with other aviation traffic and stakeholders.”
Underpinning industry credibility
Altitude Angel was founded in 2014. The start-up employs a rapidly growing team of professional software engineers and dedicated aviation experts. Recent hires include Michael Gadd, who joins the company as Head of International Regulatory Affairs from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, where he was Policy Lead for UAS, boosting the team’s overall aviation experience and credentials.
James Bruegger, Managing Partner at Seraphim who led the transaction, commented: “As a specialist fund focused on space-tech, we see drones as forming an important element in the wider space-tech ecosystem. Much like air traffic control became a necessary precondition for commercial aviation to flourish, so too do we see unmanned traffic management (UTM) as a fundamental building block that holds the key to unlocking the enormous potential of the commercial drone market.
“In Altitude Angel we’ve identified what we believe to be best-of-breed technology capable of meeting the stringent safety-critical standards that regulators will demand in order for autonomous drones to be fully integrated into commercial airspace. We look forward to working alongside Richard and the wider Altitude Angel team to help the company deliver on its tremendous potential.”
Mike Dimelow, Chief Investment Officer at ADV, commented, “Altitude Angel is a solution that allows unmanned flying machines to operate. By getting this right, we’re going to create new industries and business models that we can’t even imagine today. The management team and industry partners supporting the business have the potential to create a generation-defining business. We’re very excited for the future.”
“With drones creating such exciting new opportunities, finding a way for them to safely coexist with manned aircraft is increasingly urgent,” comments Hannes Bardach, CEO at Frequentis. “Altitude Angel’s leadership in building a harmonised framework for air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned traffic management (UTM) will enable organisations to leverage the potential of these technologies. This investment means Frequentis can lead the safe integration of these new aircraft into the airspace.”
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