Israeli drone-technology co Dronomy raises $1.5m

Israeli drone-technology co Dronomy raises $1.5m


Dronomy’s technology aims to make it easier and safer to fly drones autonomously in cluttered outdoor environments.

Israeli drone-technology startup Dronomy has raised $1.5 million in funding led by Battery Ventures with participation from other venture-capital firms and angel investors.

Dronomy’s technology aims to revolutionize the commercial and consumer drone markets by making it easier and safer to fly drones autonomously, especially in cluttered outdoor environments.

The global drone market has been growing rapidly: Frost & Sullivan estimates the nonmilitary market is now $2.5 billion and will grow to $11 billion by 2020. Potential commercial and consumer use cases for drones are numerous and diverse, including land surveying; consumer delivery of goods from retailers; inspection of infrastructure; construction; agriculture; and sports photography.

Dronomy CEO Ori Aphek said, “Drones – and the data collected by them – have huge, positive implications for many businesses But in today’s environment, drones are often better known for being more of a nuisance than a help because of the potential for collisions and other interruptions of existing activity. Our innovative approach to obstacle avoidance and drone autonomy will help make drones safer and intuitive to use.”

Dronomy plans to use the capital to refine its product and demonstrate it globally, as well as expand its team, and partner with companies in specific verticals.

Battery Ventures general partner Itzik Parnafes said, “We were very impressed with the Dronomy team’s deep expertise in drones and sensors. They have the know-how, and the networks, to build a radically new type of software for drones that could greatly expand the use of this technology in numerous industries.”

Other investors in the funding round include venture-capital firms Lool Ventures and Oryzn Capital, as well as angels Toivo Annus, the former head of engineering for Skype and an active investor in the drone space today; Saul Klein, a serial entrepreneur and former partner at Index Ventures; and Josh Silverman, the former CEO of Skype who is now president of consumer products and services for American Express.

Aphek previously worked on autonomous drones in the Israeli air force and, later, at a large Israeli defense company that acquired Aphek’s previous start-up, Optigo. Aphek’s co-founder, Guy Raz, also served in the Israeli air force and intelligence forces. He later worked on projects involving sensors in autonomous cars for General Motors’ research center in Israel.