In the chaos of the pandemic, it is easy to forget about threats that existed before any of us had heard of coronavirus and can still cause tremendous damage today. Yet the danger posed by technology, or rather by the bad actors that would wield it harmfully, is ever-present.
That is an important distinction to make – that technology in itself is neutral, and indeed can be used to deliver significant benefits. It is the person using it that dictates whether it has a positive or a negative impact.
Drones are a good example of this. From surveying to disaster relief, delivery to film and photography, drone technology has significant commercial and consumer applications. According to the Drone Market Report 2020, the global drone market will grow from $22.5 billion in 2020 to over $42.8 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 13.8%.
However, in the wrong hands, the accessibility, capabilities, and ease of use make the devices vulnerable to hacking and prone to misuse in surveillance, terrorism, and other criminal enterprises. One of the most high profile incidents, the 2018 closure of the UK’s London Gatwick airport, was estimated to have cost in the region of $65 billion, while one of Germany’s busiest airports, Frankfurt, had to close for short periods of time on at least two occasions, affecting hundreds of flights.
These are sophisticated threats; it takes a sophisticated response to be effective. That’s why TempoCap portfolio company Dedrone is seeing such growth in demand for its drone detection and counter-drone solutions. We recently led a new funding round for the business, totalling $12.1 million to support its mission to protect organisations from malicious drone activity.
The investment will help the company accelerate the development of its best-in-class platform, a complete counter-drone solution that provides early warning, classification of, and mitigation against drone threats. The Dedrone system combines radio sensors, cameras, and radar systems with its intelligent DroneTracker software platform to detect approaching drones and determine the best course of preventative and defensive action.
Dedrone’s DroneDNA, a machine learning system and classification engine can distinguish between different drone models, and detect the difference between drones and other moving objects such as birds or planes, has proved to be by far the most accurate in the market, underlining why the company counts governments and global companies amongst its customers, and the likes of Felicis Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and John Chambers, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco Systems and founder of JC2 Ventures, amongst its other investors.
Having a highly differentiated technology in an expanding market is a critical factor in our decision to support Dedrone, which we’ve been tracking since early 2019, but there are other reasons that make it a good fit for our strategy. Chief among those is the team – founded in Germany and now based in the US, Dedrone is embarking on a continuous period of growth under new CEO Aaditya Devarakonda and is scaling exceptionally well. That’s all down to having a knowledgeable, experienced, and dynamic team committed to delivering a critical product for customers.
Our approach is to back security technology and software businesses with ambitious leaders addressing real-world challenges with clear technological differentiation. Dedrone marks our seventh investment in the cyber/security space, alongside a successful portfolio, including Onfido, CybelAngel, Systancia, Efficient IP, Bleckwen, and Ercom.
At a time when disruption is the only constant, Dedrone is combining leading hardware with software innovation to help businesses, governments, and national infrastructure protect themselves from ever more sophisticated threats.
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