Iris Automation has closed a successful round of $13 million in Series B venture capital funding. Founded in 2015, Iris Automation is a computer vision technology company pioneering the development of advanced detection systems used to help provide Detect-and-Avoid (DAA) capabilities that enable safe commercial drone operations including scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) missions.
The funding includes follow-on investment by Bessemer Venture Partners, Bee Partners, OCA Ventures, and new investors Sony Innovation Fund and Verizon Ventures. The addition of this strategic investment acknowledges the criticality of collision avoidance and safety technology to the future aviation community.
With this investment, Iris Automation will:
- Expand machine learning and AI capabilities and testing to improve and extend the Casia system’s performance envelope.
- Continue to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s BEYOND program, focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to advance airspace integration. BEYOND will demonstrate operations that are repeatable, scalable and economically viable with specific emphasis on infrastructure inspection, public safety operations and small package delivery.
- Continue to improve detection and classification capabilities of the Casia system to support expanded use cases, operational environments and aircraft compatibility.
- Build out fulfillment capabilities to produce, deliver and support the growing installed base of aircraft OEM partners and end use customers, and enter new markets associated with aircraft safety.
The investment reflects the continued growth at Iris Automation and the opportunities in the global commercial drone market space. Aviation industry veteran and entrepreneur Jon Damush recently joined Iris Automation as CEO, and the company also recently conducted a live drone flight demonstration for the City of Reno Fire Department of its Casiaonboard (DAA) collision avoidance system, under the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). This closely followed Transport Canada also having issued the second Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for BVLOS flights in uncontrolled airspace utilizing infrastructure masking and Iris Automation’s Casia system to MVT Geo-solutions.