Drone automation and delivery company FlyBy Robotics raises $4M

Drone automation and delivery company FlyBy Robotics raises $4M

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Drone automation and delivery company Flyby Robotics today announced that it has raised $4 million to fund product development with the goal of achieving Level 4 autonomy for Flyby’s flight systems, which currently perform at Level 3.

At Level 4 autonomy, drones operate without any human intervention throughout the delivery process but allow a pilot in a remote command center the option to override manually in rare circumstances.

Founded in 2020 by a team of engineers who previously worked at Yale University, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Anduril Industries Inc., Flyby was created to unlock the labor-saving potential of unmanned aerial vehicle technology for every merchant. The company argues that drone delivery methods are faster and more affordable than car-based courier systems.

“You don’t have to be a multibillion-dollar corporation or a global military superpower to reap the economic benefits of autonomous drones,” Jason Lu, founder and chief executive of Flyby Robotics, said ahead of the announcement. “Our AI-powered autonomous systems allow any merchant to dramatically reduce the cost of delivery to their customers.”

The funding comes as Flyby has launched its pilot program and announced a series of active partnerships with food retailers and snack brands across the U.S.. The first companies to partner with FlyBy for drone deliveries include Nekter Juice Bar Inc., MAD Greens LLC, Tokyo Joes International Inc. and Popadelics. During the live pilot, customers from participating retailers are able to order drone delivery for $3, with an average delivery time of under four minutes in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.

FlyBy’s drone delivery technology features include easy integration into delivery intake apps, fully automated fulfillment — in its words, “just load food and fly” — as well as IP55-rated weather operation capability and a onetime quick setup.

The operating software for the drone, Flyby’s Citadel 2, is said to provide end-to-end automated fulfillment command and control. FlyBy centrally monitors airspace authorization and conditions, order intake, launch and dropoff so that orders are always in good hands.

The $4 million seed round was led by MaC Venture Capital Management LLC, with participation from Weekend Fund Management LLC, Anthemis Group SA, Evening Fund LP and a number of individual investors.

Image: Flyby Robotics

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