Skygauge Robotics announces new funding round to expand the team and build their technology.
Skygauge Robotics has closed a $3.3 million CAD seed round led by BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund with participation from RiSC Capital and follow-on from existing investors SOSV (through the HAX accelerator) and Hello Ventures.
“We formed Skygauge Robotics in 2016 when we noticed a lack of design innovation in the drone industry. Around the start of the decade, we were promised a very ambitious vision that drones would do any type of job, yet the industry is mostly composed of drones taking pictures and videos for data collection,” says the firm’s CEO Nikita Iliushkin. “We realized this stemmed from limitations with current designs. They were not stable enough to do more physical work and so we had to invent a new way for drones to fly.”
The Skygauge team, using a patented thrust-vectoring design, created a drone to maneuver with a full 6 degrees-of-freedom. “Conventional drones struggle to interact with the world because they can’t direct the forces required for any kind of job. They can hover and fly well, but they can’t push, pull, or twist, making them unsuitable for physical work” says Chief Designer and Inventor, Linar Ismagilov. Once the team successfully captures the inspection market, Skygauge has planned expansions into physical jobs like painting, spraying, pressure washing, drilling, paint removal, high-rise window washing, welding, and general construction.
The vision for the company is to create the ‘Workforce in the Sky’.
“Robotics is all about reducing human involvement in dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks” says Cyril Ebersweiler, HAX founder and Managing Director. “HAX invested when we saw the impact the Skygauge would have in these conventional industries.” Falls from height are the number one cause of worker death from OSHA’s fatal four and Skygauge Robotics will eliminate these risks by keeping workers on the ground. Skygauge has experienced a surge in demand for their product during COVID-19 as worker safety and reducing time on-site have become paramount concerns for employers. Skygauge Robotics graduated from the HAX accelerator in 2019.
“The previous decade saw many drone companies come and go” mentions Joe Regan, Managing Partner, Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, BDC Capital. “Skygauge Robotics is among the next groundbreaking inventions that will create a new industry. They have a great vision for the future with a driven founding team and revolutionary technology to make it happen.” Guillaume Mercier, Partner with the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, will be joining Skygauge’s Board of Directors.
The Board will also be augmented by the addition of experienced industry veterans Dave Kroetsch, founder and former CEO at drone manufacturer Aeryon Labs, as well as by John Bowles, CEO at inspection technology company Inversa Systems.
Skygauge Robotics is currently expanding the foundational team at their offices in the Toronto/Hamilton Area. “Using this funding we will go from our prototype to a commercial product and we’re hiring driven engineers to help us get there” mentions CTO Maksym Korol. If you are interested in learning more go to: https://skygauge.co/careers/
About Skygauge Robotics:
Skygauge has reinvented the drone to perform work not possible with drones today. Their patented design is intended for industrial work applications. Skygauge aims to reduce the time and cost of industrial work, as well as improve operator safety by keeping them from working at height. With an initial target market in Ultrasonic Testing of industrial structures, the company subsequently intends to branch out into a wide array of work like pressure washing, painting, coating, scrubbing, welding, and other maintenance. The ultimate vision of the company is to use this design to create the ‘Workforce in the Sky’.
For more information:
Nikita Iliushkin | CEO
About BDC Capital:
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers businesses a full spectrum of capital, from seed investments to growth equity, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who have the ambition to stand out on the world stage. Visit bdc.ca/capital/
For more information:
About HAX and SOSV:
HAX, part of the global venture firm SOSV, is the most active early stage investor in hard tech startups, empowering founders building with robotics, internet of things, digital health, consumer products and industrial technologies. The HAX Seed Program combines hands-on co-development with our experienced product development team, multi-stage venture capital investment, and collaboration with our global founder community building hard tech startups. Since 2012, HAX has invested in over 250 startups meshing hardware and software across its locations in San Francisco, Shenzhen and Tokyo.
About RiSC Capital:
RiSC Capital is an early stage deep-tech investment fund started by engineers to fill the gap in the Canadian VC ecosystem. They launched their initial fund in 2020.