US: Startup Skycatch has raised a new $13.2 million round of venture funding to build data-collecting drones, informs Techcrunch. Entrepreneur Christian Sanz in a recent interview to the tech-website said, that the idea struck him after a construction site asked him to take some aerial photos of his build while he was showing off his drone to a crowd of gathered spectators. He says that there is a dearth of such service provider, and thus a huge market potential.
The new funding for Skycatch will go into building out its existing business, but also into an ambitious new plan that would see the startup build new high altitude unmanned gliders that could fly perpetually and gather data on demand in specific locations per client requests.
The company provides Skycatch offers autonomous drones for capturing 2D and 3D data. This means that the drones can fly out for missions, and then return to a base station landing bad to offload data from the 15GB on board repository and swap out a fresh battery, which is good for around 30 minutes of operation, depending on the wind conditions.
Few experts feel that this kind of aerial imaging on demand model bears some similarity to the kind of models Google and Facebook are doing with their high-flying data network UAVs.