Boeing, the U.S aircraft giant, recently announced that it is planning to contribute to the $5 million funding for a San Francisco-based Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Software startup Kittyhawk through its HorizonX Ventures. The company has taken this decision to create an integrated technology platform supporting development of a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM) enabling reliable traffic management system. The system will ensure that both the autonomous and piloted air vehicles can safely coexist so that they can fly simultaneously and safely alongside each other in the same airspace.
Boeing created HorizonX Ventures in 2017 for investing in technologies applicable to the frontiers of aerospace, ranging from artificial intelligence and virtual reality to autonomous system and in just one year has added 13 companies in its portfolio.
Established in 2015, Kittyhawk has been the pioneer in the development of enterprise software and mobile-based apps dedicated to integrating real-time UAS flight operations as well as management solutions all on its single platform. According to Boeing, the startup company has successfully managed to increase its customer base through its end-to-end drone operation technology. The types of customers Kittyhawk is currently serving include industry leaders in insurance, energy, media, rail transportation, fire as well as emergency management agencies.
Boeing’s Kittyhawk Joins $5M Funding
Boeing HorizonX Ventures is to contribute an undisclosed amount to the $5 million seed round led by Bonfire Ventures. Other companies to contribute to the funding include Kluz Ventures’ The Flying Object and Freestyle Capital. According to the managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Brian Schettler, “When paired with the broad portfolio of complementary data service offerings within Boeing, Kittyhawk is poised to help us shape the future of safe autonomous flight.”
According to Boeing, the startup company is partnering with its subsidiary Jeppesen for expanding its unmanned operations. For that, Kittyhawk will participate in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). The startup wants to integrate the unmanned operations including cargo delivery, unmanned aircraft in the air that is beyond the visual line of operations on one platform with the UAS traffic management process for safety.
Kittyhawk Expects Boeing Will Help It Grow
The chief pilot and founder of Kittyhawk, Joshua Ziering is of the opinion that the long history of the American multinational corporation of building new industries within the aerospace arena will contribute to the growth of his drone startup. The Boeing Company is known for designing, manufacturing, and selling airplanes, rockets rotorcraft, missiles, and satellites worldwide. Kittyhawk wants to empower the commercial drone sector by building open, solid and interoperable standards. According to the startup, a total capital of $6.5 million was raised during the new round.