Microsoft (among others) and AirMap
On Feb. 23, AirMap — a direct competitor of Skyward — announced it had completed a $26 million Series B round of funding. AirMap also unveiled what it called “an exciting group of new partners,” including Microsoft Ventures, Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Rakuten, Sony, and Yuneec.
AirMap is already a popular flight management system, with millions of individual drone users and 125 airports using its services. “We’re looking forward to quickly bringing AirMap’s airspace management platform and solutions for cybersecurity, geofencing, Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management (UTM) and more to new markets worldwide,” AirMap said in a post on its website. UTM focuses heavily on communications between drones and their respective ground control stations — which is, in essence, just another application of the IoT.
While the $26 million is certainly worth noticing, breadth of partnering companies is also of note: four major (and diverse) technology/electronics companies and two aviation companies. All of this bodes well for the future of AirMap, but exactly where they go from here is uncertain.
That being said, it would be wise to keep an eye on AirMap after industry heavyweights like Microsoft, Airbus, and Yuneec put their names behind the company. Especially considering the fact that senseFly, maker of various aerial imaging drones
, also nailed down a partnership with AirMap on Feb. 23. AirMap’s UTM capabilities will now be directly integrated into senseFly’s eMotion flight and data
“By partnering with AirMap and adding industry-leading airspace intelligence to the mix, we are taking another big leap forwards and ensuring that our customers’ commercial drone operations are safer and more effective than ever," said senseFly CEO Jean-Christophe Zufferey in a press release.