Commercial drone developer, service provider earns $16 million

By Luke Geiver | June 23, 2016

California-based unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developer and service provider Kespry is in full ramp-up mode. The commercial drone system company that serves the construction, mining and real estate sectors is adding engineers and service teams following a Series B financing round that infused the company with $16 million. In October 2014, Kespry earned $10 million in Series A funding.

Between financing rounds, Kespry has doubled in size and is now moving into a larger space in the Silicon Valley. The company already works with three of the top five construction material entities in North America, along with other firms in the aggregates, construction and surveying industries.

Earlier this year, Kespry unveiled a case study outlining the fiscal, time and workflow benefits of using a UAS-based aggregate surveying method versus traditional approaches. Previous methods of surveying included several employees, equipment and third-party surveyors. Under the previous methods, an aggregate company spent $37,832 annually on aggregate surveying that provided an update on three separately located material piles six times throughout the calendar year.

Through a new method developed by Kespry, the client purchased a Kespry system and compared the old method versus the UAS-option. The UAS-method allowed the company to survey aggregate stockpiles at multiple sites on an unlimited basis. The new method was both faster and cheaper, according to the Kespry case study. The client spent $29,320 for the new method. Costs included man-hours ($30/hr) and drone equipment costs ($25,000). Man-hours totaled 144 hours, versus the 576 hours spent during the traditional surveying method.

DCM ventures, a venture capital firm with more than 280 technology firms in its portfolio, was the lead Series B investor. “We were very impressed with Kespry’s demonstrated ability to deliver valuable solutions and gain meaningful traction across multiple verticals,” said Jason Krikorian, general partner at DCM Ventures.

Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Series A lead investor in the company, also participated in the Series B round. “The team has exceeded every sales goal and they’re blazing a trail on the engineering front,” said John Vrionis, partner.