Drone security platform maker Dedrone Holdings Inc. has raised $15 million in a round led by Felicis Ventures and John Chambers, Cisco Systems Inc.’s executive chairman.
Founded in 2014, Dedrone offers an automated drone security platform. Described by the company as an extension of physical and cyber security, Dedrone’s aerial intrusion detection platform provides early warning of malicious drone activities and is used to protect data centers, prisons, airports and other critical facilities from corporate espionage, smuggling, terrorism, and hacking.
The company’s software is able to automatically detect, classify, issue alerts, record evidence to identify and assess potential threats and can automatically trigger offensive or defensive countermeasures if needed.
Although far from a well-known company, Dedrone has nonetheless found a willing audience in an age where drones have grown more numerous. It netted more than 200 installations in 2016, including being used during the Clinton-Trump presidential debates and by the Suffolk County prison in New York, the Royal Family of Qatar, the New York Mets’ stadium and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
While it may sound somewhat fanciful for a company solely focused on security against drone intrusions, the problem is a real one. Drones already are being used for illegal purposes, such as delivering drugs into secured prisons, as well as for undertaking illegal surveillance. In one case, a drone recorded people entering their pin numbers into a cash machine.
With 7 million drones expected to be in use in the United States by 2020, the chances are that the number of drones being used for nefarious purposes will rise as well and that’s where Dedrone steps in.
Including the new Series B round, Dedrone has now raised $27.9 million over three rounds. The company said it would use the new funding to increase marketing and sales efforts and invest in global research and development.