Kespry announced it has raised $33 million in its Series C round of funding, led by G2VP with Shell Technology Ventures, Cisco Investments and ABB Ventures joining as new investors in the company. Each investor has a significant track record in supporting the growth of organizations focused on transforming the future of industrial work.
“With the exponential growth of the Kespry aerial intelligence platform, we’re participating in a generational shift of how industrial work gets done,” said George Mathew, CEO and chairman of Kespry. “We’re incredibly pleased to have leading industrial tech investors recognize Kespry’s contributions to the future of work. The digital transformation in insurance, mining, construction, and many other industries represents a massive market opportunity. This funding round enables us to fuel even more innovation through investment in R&D, sales and marketing to address these and future industrial needs.”
“Kespry is unique in providing a fully-integrated solution and is leading the use of a drone platform to deliver previously-unavailable benefits to industrial organizations,” said David Mount, a partner at G2VP. “As evidenced by the enthusiasm of its customers, Kespry is helping define the shift to industrial digitization and we are excited to be a part of that movement.”
A seasoned investor at the forefront of the IoT, energy and industrials markets, Mount will join the Kespry board of directors. He’s spent his career advancing the ‘Industrial Awakening’ by supporting companies at the intersection of connectivity, advanced processing and traditional industry, and invested in companies such as OSIsoft, Opower, ServiceMax, and SilverSpring Networks as a Partner with Kleiner Perkins’ Green Growth Fund.
“We’ve identified and applied cutting-edge digital technologies in the energy sector for decades, and our investment in Kespry epitomizes that focus,” said Daniel Jeavons, general manager, Advanced Analytics at Shell. “Industrial drones combined with AI and Machine Learning will make industrial work more efficient and safer. For instance, Kespry drones can help us optimize how we load cargo on to vessels or run inventory analysis in our lay down yards. These technologies give my colleagues powerful new digital tools and important, future-focused skills.”
The Kespry platform for drone data capture and analytics uses AI and Machine Learning to deliver new insights and accelerate operations in industries such as aggregates, mining, construction, and insurance. Each of these industries is experiencing a step change in the adoption of drone data capture and analytics. For example, the use of Kespry’s roof inspection solution in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma to inspect roof damage in Texas and Florida enabled claims adjusters to inspect houses an order of magnitude faster and safer than before they used drones.
“Drones are emerging as a new category of sensor networks. Cisco’s industrial customers are increasingly adopting aerial intelligence for efficiency, cost reduction and safety initiatives in their field operations,” said Rob Salvagno, head of Cisco Investments and Corporate Development. “Kespry’s strong focus on the industrial market aligns well with Cisco’s deep commitment to IoT and digital transformation of businesses.”
The funding announcement follows Kespry being named to the 2017 “Efficient Fifty” by JMP Securities, a survey of companies delivering significant efficiency and sustainability benefits to its customers and industries. “Kespry is driving huge productivity improvements for surveying and imaging, which allow for better profits,” the report stated.
Proceeds from the new round of funding will be used to extend the company’s end-to-end aerial intelligence platform to meet a growing range of customer applications across industries. The proceeds will also fund expansion into new vertical industrial markets, such as the energy utility sector, and further develop Kespry’s international business. This opportunity to scale Kespry further comes at a time of rapid growth in the industrial use of drones.
A study last year by Goldman Sachs projects industrial and commercial drones as the fastest-growing portion of the global drone industry, with more than $20 billion in projected sales over the next five years.
“Kespry has an outstanding team and technology,” said Carl Stjernfeldt, Shell Technology Venture’s deal lead and representative to Kespry. “Bringing companies with unique capabilities into the Shell portfolio is an example of how we compete at the forefront of the digital transformation of our industry and drive business results across a broad set of applications within Shell.”