Drone delivery startup Flirtey has raised $16 million in Series A funding to bring its high-flying service to new customers, companies and possibly countries. Earlier, the startup raised $120,000 in seed funding and participated in the Y Combinator accelerator.
Flirtey was also the first company to attain FAA approvals to conduct a drone delivery in the US in 2015. That fact helped it land one of its drones in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, a milestone that CEO Matthew Sweeny calls a “kittyhawk” moment for the startup.
Given the number of regulatory approvals, test runs and partnerships that Flirtey has racked up, it should probably come as no surprise that the drone tech startup raised a meaningful Series A round of funding. VC’s are bullish on drone related tech and services, still. According to Crunchbase Prodata, 95 drone tech companies raised equity funding rounds of at least $500,000 in 2016, with the average funding round at $6.8 million and total invested across that group hitting $482.8 million.
Flirtey’s Series A round was led by the company’s seed investors, Menlo Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures, and joined by Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, Y Combinator and World Innovation Lab, a firm that counts among its limited partners the Japanese airline ANA, Goodwater Capital,Amity Venturesand Partech Ventures.
Menlo Ventures’ Managing Director Mark A. Siegel, now a Flirtey board member, says drone tech and services are of interest to his firm because the technology is poised to dramatically impact multiple industries.