RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PrecisionHawk, an information delivery company that uses a small, lightweight UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] and cloud-based software to collect, process and analyze aerial data, today announced it has closed a Series B financing round of approximately $10 million led by New York City-based investor Millennium Technology Value Partners.
Existing investors Bob Young, co-founder of RedHat and founder and CEO of Lulu.com, and the Innovate Indiana Fund, an Indiana University-affiliated venture company, also participated in the round. The funding will enable PrecisionHawk to further invest in product development, engineering and talent to support a rapidly growing network of global clients and expand its sales and marketing activities.
"Our firm believes that substantial value is being created by the transformative effect of UAV technology," said Samuel Schwerin, founder and Managing Partner of Millennium Technology Value Partners. "PrecisionHawk envisions a world, as we do, where businesses across a wide variety of industries can access aerial information and gain actionable insights in an affordable, turnkey manner. This investment is a way to accelerate the development of an open platform for many innovative applications to be built upon."
Today more than 50 customers across a wide variety of industries from agriculture, energy, forestry, and government, to environmental protection and more, are in the process of adopting PrecisionHawk's UAV and data platform. This $10 million funding will allow PrecisionHawk to meet the production needs of a growing global clientele. PrecisionHawk will nearly double its employee base and increase hardware production on its UAV platform and integrated plug and play sensor suite, which includes over 15 data collection sensors. In partnership with Texas A &M University, the company will also open a new office in College Station, TX that will focus on the needs of the insurance industry as well as emergency response applications. This will be the company's fourth office in addition to its existing locations in Raleigh, NC, Indianapolis, IN and Toronto, Ont.
"At the end of the day, our customers want a cost-effective, easy to use and efficient solution that will allow them to do more with less," said PrecisionHawk CEO Christopher Dean. "The close of this funding round, with such well-respected investors, is an exciting step forward and clear validation of our end-to-end approach and market leadership."
PrecisionHawk customers, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and education institutions, regularly leverage significant amounts of data to support their day-to-day business practices and recognize that the value delivered extends far beyond the unmanned aircraft itself. With UAV technology poised to erupt across civilian markets, enterprise customers understand the product value is in the delivery of usable and relevant information to decision-makers. Aerospace industry analysts estimate global spending on UAVs is likely to reach $77 billion or more over the next 10 years.
"This is a brand new industry, like aviation in the 1920s," said Bob Young, co-founder of RedHat. "There is the same feeling of grand potential and optimism in the space. With that level of hype, will you ever achieve it? I believe we will. It is the early days, and PrecisionHawk is making huge strides by delivering new tools, in a user-friendly and cost effective way, to people who depend on better information to advance."
Currently the FAA permits the use of UAVs in the United States for research purposes with certain institutions. PrecisionHawk has developed strategic and university partnerships with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Texas A &M, Cornell University and the New York UAV test site, as well as several others. These relationships have proven invaluable for fine-tuning the product development process for PrecisionHawk as well as giving the company the experience that will help to inform the dialogue of the regulatory framework for the UAV sector moving forward.
About Millennium Technology Value Partners:
Over the last decade, Millennium has been a pioneer, innovator, and leader in developing institutional-quality alternative liquidity programs for companies and shareholders in the venture capital ecosystem, partnering with the world's leading technology companies to design investment formats that foster long-term growth. In addition to its leadership in secondary investing, Millennium is a "Lifecycle Capital Partner" to great companies, providing a uniquely flexible mix of primary growth capital, venture debt, acquisition financing and other creative capital solutions that help to drive growth throughout a company's entire lifecycle.
Millennium has invested in 72 technology companies since 2002 including such well-known leaders as Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Zappos (AMZN), Chegg (CHGG), Lookout, Tellme (MSFT), RigNet (RNET), Good Technology, Alibaba (BABA), HauteLook (JWN), Tumblr (YHOO), ETF Securities, Tremor Video (TRMR), LegalZoom, Wayport (T), NetSpend (TSS), iPass (IPAS), HootSuite, ID Analytics (LOCK), ArcSight (HPQ), PlaySpan (V), Epocrates (ATHN), and many others. The firm's portfolio companies have achieved 37 IPO and M &A events over the last decade and generated value in excess of $400 billion.
Based in New York City, Millennium is led by its founding partners Sam Schwerin and Dan Burstein. For more information, visit: MTVLP.
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