LBA syndicate backs drone risk-analysis startup Flock
Flock, a big-data-driven risk-analysis platform for drone flights, has closed a £320k investment round from investors including LBA private investors, venture capital firm Downing Ventures, and the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF). This is in addition to recently-awarded grants from Innovate UK and Ordnance Survey.
This big-data analytics startup, spun out from Imperial College London and Cambridge University, is designing an innovative platform that facilitates intelligent ‘on-the-spot’ drone insurance (a $2Bn market by 2020).
The drone industry is growing at an exponential rate, projected to be worth $127Bn by 2020. Drones bring with them a degree of risk however, including: falling out of the sky into congested areas, and privacy concerns in public spaces. It is currently time-consuming and expensive to insure drones, and operators have to worry about the unknown risks of their flights. Flock’s AI platform aggregates big data to identify and quantify these risks, by tracking and analysing the real-time position of vehicles, structures, weather systems and more.
Flock is now partnering with international insurers, with a vision to become an autonomous drone guidance software, automatically calculating the safest possible flight-paths for drones.
This new round of funding will enable the company to grow its team, bolster business development activities and pilot an MVP. Flock plans to undertake a national rollout of its insurance product in mid 2017.
Ed Klinger, Flock CEO, comments, “2017 will be a transformative year for drone technology and integration with wider society, and our on-the-spot insurance solution will form one part of that. As we close this funding round I am delighted to welcome to the team some very big names in the automotive, big data, drone-tech, and insurance spaces. Together with support from Innovate UK and Ordnance Survey, Flock is even better equipped to help pave the way for a future of safe, fully autonomous drone flights”.
Anthony Clarke, LBA CEO, comments, “as the drone market continues to grow rapidly, the need for more effective mechanisms to properly insure against the risks associated with this is becoming greater and greater. The Flock team is developing an innovative solution which aims to allow insurance companies to properly identify and quantify drone flight risks. I am especially pleased that the round was led by a highly experienced automotive executive who has now joined the company’s board”.
Puneet Raj Bhatia, Fund Manager at the LCIF, comments “Flock is a great example of innovative technology-focused startup businesses in London. We are delighted to support the founders of Flock in their endeavours to provide insurance and risk-analysis solutions to the burgeoning commercial drones sector.”