A PrecisionHawk unmanned aerial vehicle is launched on a data-gathering mission

A PrecisionHawk unmanned aerial vehicle is launched on a data-gathering mission | PHOTO BY PRECISIONHAWK

INDIANAPOLIS — The Innovate Indiana Fund is among more than a half-dozen investors to participate in an $18 million funding round for PrecisionHawk Inc., a rapidly expanding maker of unmanned aerial vehicles — also known as UAVs — and software that collects and analyzes terrestrial data for commercial use.

The Series C capitalization includes new investors Verizon Ventures, NTT Docomo Ventures, Yamaha Motor and a subsidiary of insurer USAA. The Innovate Indiana Fund, which led PrecisionHawk’s $1 million Series A financing and took part in $10 million of Series B funding in 2014, joined existing investors Intel Capital and Millennium Technology Value Partners in this latest round.

The latest investment round brings PrecisionHawk’s total funding to $30 million as it continues to improve and expand its data-analysis platform and its low-altitude flight safety system.

“Since the start of our investments in PrecisionHawk, we have watched this company literally shape a new industry,” said Ken Green, managing director of the Innovate Indiana Fund and a PrecisionHawk director. “Its innovative technology is being applied in many ways, as demonstrated through the companies coming on board.”

PrecisionHawk will use part of the proceeds to expand its DataMapper analysis platform, which allows any UAV operator to process, manage and analyze aerial data. DataMapper currently receives such data from all UAV systems but soon will allow information from satellites and manned aviation to be managed, analyzed and compared with UAV-gathered data on a single platform, said PrecisionHawk spokesman Lia Reich.

In 2015, DataMapper processed information gathered from more than 1 million acres and licensed more than 200 analysis algorithms across industries ranging from agriculture and insurance to energy and mining, she said.

The company also plans to develop and commercialize its Low Altitude Tracking and Airspace Safety platform, or LATAS, which is designed to allow safe and rapid integration of UAVs into regulated airspace.

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