Kespry, a developer of automated drone systems for commercial markets, announced the close of a Series B equity-financing round of $16 million that includes investments from DCM Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Kespry will appy the funds to expanding their engineering and service teams to ramp-up production and serve customers. Kesprey has doubled in size over the past year and will be 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’s 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 others.
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.