Germany-based drone start-up Quantum-Systems has bagged $17.5 million in new funding from investors, including billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel who cofounded PayPal and was the first outside investor in Facebook.
The news comes mere months after the drone manufacturer raised $32 million through a mix of equity and debt financing in its Series A funding round.
Thiel is joined by German firms Project A Ventures and Sanno Capital in the new investment round that aims to accelerate Quantum-Systems‘ R&D efforts into artificial intelligence, autonomy, edge computing, and robotics. As Thiel puts it:
The future of drones is in neither software nor hardware alone, but in the intelligent synthesis of the two. With that understanding, Quantum-Systems is a leap ahead of its competition.
Florian Seibel, CEO of Quantum-Systems, agrees that investing heavily in the software side of things will take his firm to the next level. “That includes artificial intelligence, which will enhance our ability to provide situational awareness to our operators; edge computing, which facilitates real-time data processing onboard our UAS; and new elements in our mission planning software, which allows operators to orchestrate complex operations with the click of a button,” Seibel says.
In the meantime, the drone company, which was founded in 2015, will also use the fresh capital infusion to pursue sales activities across Europe more aggressively. More specifically, it will target sectors such as defense, agriculture, mining, construction, and energy for its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) systems. Other use cases for Quantum-Systems drones include search and rescue operations after natural disasters, automated railway inspections after severe weather, and aerial data capture and analysis for large-scale construction operations.
Uwe Horstmann, general partner at Project A, adds:
American and Israeli companies have historically dominated the drone market. We are excited to see Quantum-Systems step up and provide a homegrown European solution that doesn’t sacrifice tech quality.