Australian drone company Skyborne has completed a Series A capital raise of A$5m ($2.45m) from a private investor based in Abu Dhabi to fund the development of its armed micro-tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The capital investment will allow Skyborne to expand its tactical UAV business into overseas markets.
The company is also a recipient of Ignite Ideas fund round two, which is the Queensland Government’s ‘Advance Queensland’ initiative to support start-ups and small to medium businesses in order to commercialise innovative products and create jobs.
Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones added: “This is a great example of a company that’s successfully leveraged government support to attract significant international investment from a private investor based in Abu Dhabi to continue growing its business and get closer to commercialisation.”
Skyborne received the grant for further development of its tri-tilt-rotor UAV, Cerberus GL.
Weighing less than 6kg, the micro-tactical UAV Cerberus GL is designed to provide aerial fire support on the battlefield at squad and platoon level.
The product is said to be the lightest armed tactical UAV of its class and can be deployed in support of defence, counter-terrorism and law enforcement activities.
Earlier this month, Skyborne was invited to participate in the US Army Manoeuvre Battle Lab’s Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 2020.
Skyborne Technologies CEO and director Dr Michael Creagh said: “It has been an amazing two years for Skyborne under Advance Queensland’s Ignite Ideas programme, securing a Series A round of investment to expand our engineering team and manufacturing capabilities to deliver a commercialised product to interested parties.
“Raising capital for the next generation of tactical UAVs is not an easy undertaking and without grant programmes like Ignite Ideas, companies like ours face an even greater struggle.”
Following the capital raise, the firm hired seven new employees and shifted its operations to a larger commercial facility to support in-house manufacturing.
Skyborne chief business officer and director Adrian Dudok said: “With the continued support from the Queensland Government, Skyborne will contribute towards the focus on strengthening Queensland’s defence and manufacturing industry. The export opportunities are endless and we’ve received some serious interest from the US and Middle East.”
The funds will serve as working capital for the development of Skyborne’s targeting and firing control system. The company will procure hardware for the development and testing of its integrated system for the micro-tactical UAV.