UTM company Altitude Angel attracts USD4.5 million funding boost

Altitude Angel, the drone management platform and airspace integration start-up, has today announced a USD4.5 million Series A funding round led by the Seraphim Space Fund, with participation from ADV and Frequentis AG.

According to the company: “This Series A round of venture funding enables Altitude Angel to bring its purpose-built GuardianUTM platform for U-Space and unmanned aircraft traffic management (UTM) into new territories.  The Reading, UK-based business will also expand its on-the-ground commercial and engineering presence with new offices in Europe and North America, transitioning further into the aviation industry.”

GuardianUTM is already used by millions of people and drones around the world to obtain information about where it is safe to fly, get on-demand insurance and to interact with aviation stakeholders at airport towers or in air traffic control rooms. It’s fast becoming the platform of choice for national drone operations globally. Altitude Angel’s geospatial database covers more than 80 countries and is a key component of its autonomous drone navigation system.  This allows any drone to tap into its situational awareness database, helping them go beyond the line of sight of the operator.  Altitude Angel’s long-term goal is to use its platform to enable millions of autonomous drones to fly – safely – without any human pilots.”

Altitude Angel was founded in December 2014.  The start-up employs a rapidly growing team of professional software engineers and dedicated aviation experts. Recent hires include Michael Gadd, who joins the company as Head of International Regulatory Affairs from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

James Bruegger, Managing Partner at Seraphim (who led the transaction), commented: “As a specialist fund focused on space-tech, we see drones as forming an important element in the wider space-tech ecosystem. Much like air traffic control became a necessary precondition for commercial aviation to flourish, so too do we see unmanned traffic management (UTM) as a fundamental building block that holds the key to unlocking the enormous potential of the commercial drone market.

Mike Dimelow, Chief Investment Officer at ADV, commented: “Altitude Angel is a solution that allows unmanned flying machines to operate. By getting this right, we’re going to create new industries and business models that we can’t even imagine today. The management team and industry partners supporting the business have the potential to create a generation-defining business. We’re very excited for the future.”

Hannes Bardach, CEO of Frequentis AG said: “With drones creating such exciting new opportunities, finding a way for them to safely coexist with manned aircraft is increasingly urgent, Altitude Angel’s leadership in building a harmonised framework for air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned traffic management (UTM) will enable organisations to leverage the potential of these technologies. This investment means Frequentis can lead the safe integration of these new aircraft into the airspace.”

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