Artificial intelligence Robotics Venture

Drone-Maker Skydio Raises $230M At $2.2B Valuation

Drone startup Skydio locked up a $230 million Series E at a $2.2 billion valuation — more than double its valuation from just two years ago.

The new round was led by Linse Capital and included participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Next47, IVP, DoCoMo, Nvidia, the Walton Family Foundation, UP Partners, Hercules Capital and Axon.

The new round comes almost exactly two years after the company raised a $170 million Series D at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Founded in 2014, Skydio has raised $562 million in total, according to the company.

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Skydio produces drones for the consumer, enterprise and government sectors. Its drones are used by every branch of the U.S. Department of Defense, by over half of all U.S. State Departments of Transportation and it now has more than 1,200 enterprise customers.

The company, whose autonomous drones are mainly used for surveillance and public safety operations, has realized 30x growth over the past three years.

“Drones enable the core industries that our civilization runs on — transportation, public safety, energy, construction, communications, defense and more — to operate more safely and more efficiently by putting sensors wherever they’re needed, whenever they’re needed, while keeping people safely on the ground,” said co-founder and CEO Adam Bry in a release.

Drones, defense and money

Funding to drone startups was down last year compared to 2021 — which was typical in most industries as venture capitalists pulled back on spending. In 2021, drone startups saw $2.2 billion invested, according to Crunchbase data. That number dropped to $1.4 billion last year.

Skydio’s new round is by far the largest raised by a drone manufacturer this calendar year.

It is not, however, the largest round raised in the last several months by a startup that works closely with the government and the defense industry. Late last year, Costa Mesa, California-based defense and security firm Anduril locked up a Series E worth nearly $1.5 billion that values the company at $8.5 billion. 

Anduril builds software and hardware enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning for the military and defense industry. It works with the U.S. and its allies to create drones, underwater vehicles and different operating and control systems.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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