SkyWatch, a startup focused on analyzing data and risk for the drone industry, has reeled in $2 million in seed funding from a number of investors including insurance industry vets.
The company plans to use the cash infusion to continue work on its platform, which it said enables drone service providers to track crucial safety metrics during flight planning, flight execution and post-flight. SkyWatch added its data gathering also makes it possible to create needed insurance products. SkyWatch’s research operations are based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with marketing/sales in the United States in Palo Alto, Calif., CEO Tomer Kashi explained to Carrier Management via email.
Participating investors include the Hamburger family, owners of Harel, the largest insurer in Israel, a conglomerate with a market reach including residential, mortgage, credit and life insurance. Harel insures the Israeli branches of a number of multinational corporations and also acts as a global partner of large insurance conglomerates including Zurich, Allianz, Axa, XL Catlin, QBE and Chubb, according to the company’s website.
Michal Kwicinski, another investor, is a former senior executive with Liberty Mutual and Axa, according to SkyWatch. He also serves on SkyWatch’s advisory board and helped create its initial risk model.
The main participants in the $2 million seed round: F2 Capital, Verizon Ventures and Kaedan Capital, though SkyWatch said participating investors also include “world-class leaders in the drone industry.”
SkyWatch said it will have a mobile application ready for iOS and Android, for both business and recreational drone operators in the 2018 first quarter. It’s designed to connect to most drones so their operators can get real-time hazard warnings from the drone’s telemetry, and the app also calculates a proprietary safety score for each flight based on the operator’s behavior. The idea is that the safety score can set an industry benchmark for operators, who will then be more aware of how they fly and improve their score as they practice overtime.
As well, SkyWatch said operators will be able to obtain unique, on-demand insurance products in coordination with a number of insurance carriers, based on the proprietary safety score.