Wednesday, 14 March 2018 19:52

Telstra's newest venture: an investment in safe drone software maker Cape

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Seeking to "bring safe drone technology to enterprises and government in Australia", Cape has received investment from Telstra Ventures and other major investment players.

With Cape receiving Series A Financing investment from Telstra Ventures, Google’s Gradient Ventures, Mitsui & Co. and NEA, Cape can safely drone on about how its technology is a safe sky-high investment.

Cape says its investment will be used "to expand R&D and to develop Cape’s go-to-market teams including the establishment of Cape in Australia".

Founded in 2014 with the simple objective to "deliver software that unlocks the full potential of drones by making them safe and useable for everyone", Cape has capped off an impressive four years.

In that time, the company reports "users from all over the world have flown over 100,000 flights without incident using Cape software integrated with consumer, professional, and enterprise model drones available from third-party manufacturers including DJI among others".

The company also says it has "enabled users with zero training to use their own laptops (via the Cape Cloud) to connect to drones (enabled with the Cape App) from an unlimited distance and to fly them safely with ultra-low latency controls and high resolution video without having to touch the hardware (drones, batteries, transmitters, etc.) whatsoever".

This activity has also led "commercial customers to seek out Cape for help with their everyday applications including organisations involved in public safety, asset inspection, and agriculture".

In response to this market demand, Cape says its board of directors "selected the new investors for their expertise and go-to-market abilities".

Article continues below image of a view from one of Cape's drones, please read on!

The company says Telstra is "clearly key to the development of the market in Australia and will also contribute to the broader market development via its strategic role throughout the region".

In addition, shortly after closing Series A, the Cape Board "selected Chris Rittler as chief executive to lead the go-to-market efforts and to further the development of Cape technology".

Rittler said: “Cape’s advanced software technology encompassing aerospace, cloud computing, wireless communications, video streaming, and artificial intelligence (AI) is what makes Cape’s vision both achievable and unique.

“Market adoption is happening because enterprise customers can use Cape software today. We are excited to bring Cape to Australia so that Telstra customers can benefit from these advancements.”

Cape also "identified Australia as a country that would benefit from the use of drones across a number of industrial and government verticals".

We're also told that "Telstra Ventures has closely followed developments in drone technology based on feedback from customers regarding their desire to use drones, as well as Telstra’s own experience flying drones to inspect some of its 27,000 cell towers and structures".

Matthew Koertge, managing director of Telstra Ventures, said: "Cape’s drone remote control and AI platform is an important emerging technology with diverse applications and benefits across industries.

“We are excited to support Cape as it innovates and delivers compelling value to its customers, enabling them to maximise the benefits of drones in a unique and powerful way.”

Cape concludes by noting it will be "participating at the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems trade show in Canberra on 13 and 14 March", which is dubbed RPAS in Australian Skies 2018.

The event is "sponsored by Telstra Labs along with other corporations interested in the safe integration of drones into Australian airspace".

Telstra and Cape say they "support AAUS’s objective to promote a professional, safe and commercially viable unmanned systems industry".

Here's Cape's corporate video:

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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