A tragic moment led to the invention of BRINC Drones: the 2017 mass shooting at The Mandalay Bay resort in the company’s hometown of Las Vegas. As first responders risked their lives to engage in a physical search of the hotel tower, a 17-year-old boy wondered why a drone – that could fly and communicate inside the building – wasn’t being used to serve as the crew’s eyes and ears. Now 21, Blake Resnick has just raised $25 million in Series A funding to accelerate his mission to keep people safe in dangerous situations.
The financing round was led by Index Ventures with participation from Sam Altman, Tusk Venture Partners, Jeff Weiner’s Next Play Ventures, Dylan Field, Elad Gil, Patrick Spence, Alex Wang, and former Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan. It’s worth noting that BRINC Drones previously raised $2.25 million in a seed round led by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.
Explaining that the US government’s aversion to the “Made in China” label is creating more opportunities for homegrown companies like BRINC, Resnick says:
After watching the response to the October 1, 2017, mass shooting, I felt a real call to serve and create something that would have a material impact and keep people safe. We want to make BRINC drones a standard tool for all US first responders at the city, state, and federal level.
Resnick has spent the last three years calling out with Las Vegas Metro Police Department SWAT, so he can experience their challenges in the field. The lessons learned on the field have inspired the development of BRINC’s first breakthrough system: the LEMUR – a drone that can flip itself over and relaunch if, somehow, it ends up on its back.
The company began selling these systems in early 2021. Today, BRINC Drones is home to a diverse team of more than 50 engineers, technicians, technologists, and public safety specialists. It has also partnered with a leading public safety and crisis responder advocacy group, DRONERESPONDERS.
Looking ahead, BRINC is building a system to respond to emergencies in seconds and succeed the police helicopter. This system would create a distributed network of drones in multiple locations to aid first responders when lives are at risk. Moreover, BRINC is also developing drones for industrial use cases that are dangerous for people.
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