San Francisco-based remote sensing company, Birdstop, has recently raised $2.3 million in funding. The funds are earmarked to bolster its BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone network, which covers essential infrastructure across the nation.
Birdstop operates a collection of drones in the US that function akin to ground-level satellites. Central to Birdstop’s operations is a proprietary low-altitude airspace deconfliction system, ensuring safety through various risk mitigation measures.
The company has achieved multiple approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct BVLOS operations. These drones play a pivotal role in the analysis and protection of crucial infrastructure elements, such as power grids and telecom networks.
Keith Miao, CEO of Birdstop, shared insights into the company's operations, stating,
"Our objective is to simplify the process for our users. They receive essential data without having to grapple with the intricacies of drones, robotics, or FAA regulations."
The recent funding round was led by Lerer Hippeau and witnessed participation from several entities including Anorak Ventures, Correlation Ventures, Data Tech Fund, Graph Ventures, Techstars, Timberline Holdings, and Talon Aerolytics.
Commenting on the funding, Andrea Hippeau, a partner at Lerer Hippeau, noted the advancements in BVLOS regulations and drone technology, mentioning, "Birdstop's capability to provide real-time information remotely aligns with current industry trends."
Birdstop's technological applications are diverse. Beyond infrastructure inspections, their drones are equipped to address varied scenarios such as natural disasters and security breaches. They also find utility in multiple sectors, including agriculture and construction.
To further its ambitions, Birdstop recently opened a research and development facility in Alabama. This facility is expected to increase the production capacity of their systems, with an initial focus on the airspace intelligence beacon.
Birdstop was founded by Miao, who previously served roles as a data scientist at Google and a satellite imagery researcher at the Earth Institute.