The public sees this segment as one of the most difficult issues in modern mobility: the use of the drone. But in fact, more applications are produced in this segment every month than we could have imagined. The Zurich startup Verity Studios AG has attracted attention with a double-digit capital round (Series A).
Verity Studios claims to be a global leader of indoor drone technology. The young company delivers indoor drone shows to the live event industry, working with clients that include Circus Knie in Switzerland, the Madison Square Garden or Metallica. For PARAMOUR, the Broadway show by Cirque du Soleil, Verity Studio drones completed 398 public shows, including more than 7,000 autonomous takeoffs, flights, and landings, in front of an audience of up to 2,000 people per show. “With our cutting-edge drones and drone show technology, we bring dazzling live performances to audiences worldwide.“ Its clients have completed more than 30,000 autonomous flights safely above people, across 20 countries worldwide.
Verity Studios was founded four years ago in 2014 and the first European company to bring indoor drones with autonomous skills to live events. The Swiss founder Raffaello D’Andrea had already co-founded Kiva Systems, which he and his partners sold to Amazon in 2012. This former business of one of the leading robotics and AI experts in Europe now operates as Amazon Robotics.
Verity Studios receives 18 Million for Expansion
They announced a million Series A funding round and now feel pretty comfortable in the rapidly emerging commercial indoor drone market. The startup headquartered in Zurich plans to use this funding to expand its live events business. The US market is currently going crazy about drone usage in live shows, events and conferences. Hence the Swiss have announced a heavy focus on the US market.
Business Wire reports that Fontinalis Partners, a venture capital firm focused on next-generation mobility technologies, led the round. Other investors include Airbus Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund, and Kitty Hawk.
“Verity has assembled an exceptional team, with credibility, valuable IP, and extensive technical know-how, all while building a fast-growing business in the live events market,” said Chris Cheever, co-founder and partner at Fontinalis in a press statement. “Our firm was founded to invest in and help scale the world’s best mobility technologies, and what Verity has developed has broad applicability beyond entertainment, in the drone industry and in many commercial contexts.”
In addition to its planned focus on live events, Verity will cooperate with other drone manufacturers. The aim is to integrate its proven drone failsafe technology into drone platforms to significantly increase their robustness and reliability. This is the background, why Kitty Hawk stepped into the fundraising team. “I am excited to be involved in Verity, a true pioneer in the drone industry,” commented Sebastian Thrun. He is the CEO of Kitty Hawk and co-founder of Udacity, Google X and Google’s self-driving car team. “I’ve seen the Verity team go from strength to strength and I look forward to being part of its future growth.”
With its more than 15 years of experience in indoor flying objects performance, Verity has become a serious player for the entertainment industry. With its new partners and funds on board, the Swiss will for sure extend their smart move in this drone entertainment market segment. A highly profitable segment, though – and quite fun too.
Image Rights: Cirque du Soleil – PARAMOUR Theatrical, Verity Studios Webseite