MENLO PARK, Calif.--Kespry, which designs automated drone systems for commercial use, today announced the close of a Series B equity-financing round of $16 million that includes investments from DCM Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. With these funds, Kespry is hiring more engineering and service teams to ramp-up production and serve customers. In the past twelve months, Kespry has more than doubled in size, and is moving into a larger headquarters in Silicon Valley to keep up with the continued growth.
Goldman Sachs projects commercial drones to be the fastest-growing portion of the global drone market, with over $20.6 billion in projected sales over the next five years. Kespry has already seen rapid customer growth across several vertical markets, and customers include three of the top five construction materials firms in North America. Other Kespry customers are leaders across aggregates, construction, and surveying industries, including Fluor, Lehigh Hanson/Heidelberg, Sully-Miller/COLAS, Terus Construction, Webcor, Whitaker Contracting, Woolpert, and many others.
Kespry provides a full-stack automated and integrated drone system that is easy for companies to deploy at scale. Companies use Kespry drones to more easily collect, analyze and share aerial information. The Kespry system saves time and money, while increasing traditional survey frequency, helping change how customers operate their business. Current Kespry customers average over ten flights per month, compared to traditional monthly, quarterly or annual surveying methods.
“Last week we used the Kespry drone to survey three sites totaling over two hundred acres in less than three hours. We were able to calculate stockpile volumes, and current conditions of the locations, along with contour maps and 3D modeling of the sites,” commented Heath Waddell, general manager at Milestone Materials, a division of Mathy Construction.
The lead investor in Kespry’s Series B round is DCM Ventures, a venture capital firm with a portfolio of over 280 technology companies across the U.S. and Asia. “We were very impressed with Kespry’s demonstrated ability to deliver valuable solutions and gain meaningful traction across multiple verticals. DCM Ventures is excited to join the Kespry team and support their global aspirations,” said Jason Krikorian, general partner at DCM Ventures and co-founder of Sling Media.
Lightspeed Venture Partners was the lead investor in Kespry’s Series A round of $10 million in October 2014, and has made a significant follow-on investment in the Series B. “As the first investor in Kespry, we knew we had a truly world class team that would find a way to emerge as the leader in the commercial drone market,” said John Vrionis, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. “The team has exceeded every sales goal and they’re blazing a trail on the engineering front. We are privileged to continue to support the company.”
Other new investors in the round include Spectrum 28 in Silicon Valley, H. Barton Asset Management led by former NFL star Harris Barton, Rothenberg Ventures with other robotics and machine intelligence investments, and Wilson Sonsini the top legal firm in Silicon Valley.
Kespry has also partnered with NVIDIA on a new deep-learning module that will enable Kespry drones to automatically identify and track specific objects, like construction equipment and materials. “Kespry’s prototype drone with Jetson TX1 is a vision of the future, when robots and drones will see, think and navigate on their own,” said Deepu Talla, VP and GM, Tegra, NVIDIA.
Based in Menlo Park in the heart of Silicon Valley, Kespry is the leader in commercial drone and data intelligence, enabling companies to better collect, analyze and share information to improve their business operations. The Kespry Drone System is the most advanced on the market with a full-stack design and automated customer operation. Kespry has been rapidly deployed with proven results at dozens of leading companies across the aggregate, construction and surveying industries. Founded in 2013, Kespry lead investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners and DCM Ventures in Silicon Valley. More at www.kespry.com