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Iris Automation Raises $13M for Drone Vision Systems

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December 15, 2020

Iris Automation, which develops computer vision technology aimed at providing detect-and-avoid capabilities for commercial drone operations, announced today it closed a successful round of $13 million in Series B venture capital funding.

The funding includes follow-on investment by Bessemer Venture Partners, Bee Partners, OCA Ventures, and new investors Sony Innovation Fund and Verizon Ventures. The new strategic investors acknowledge the “criticality of collision avoidance and safety technology to the future aviation community,” the company said in a statement.

“We are incredibly excited about this show of support from our current and new investors, particularly during this unprecedented global pandemic,” said Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation. “We have always known that our approach to the problem solves a critical missing link for unpiloted systems, and plan to deploy this capital to further expand our capabilities and improve safety for unpiloted systems as global regulators work to integrate UAS into existing airspaces. The investment clearly illustrates investor confidence in the growth of the sector and specifically Iris’ role in the ecosystem.”

With the funding, Iris Automation plans to:

  • Expand machine learning and AI capabilities and testing to improve and extend its Casia system’s performance.
  • Continue to participate in the FAA’s BEYOND program, focused on enabling Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations with UAS to advance airspace integration. The BEYOND program aims to demonstrate operations that are repeatable, scalable, and economically viable with specific emphasis on infrastructure inspection, public safety operations, and small package delivery.
  • Continue to improve detection and classification capabilities of the Casia system to support expanded use cases, operational environments, and aircraft capability.
  • Build out fulfillment capabilities to produce, deliver, and support the growing installed base of aircraft OEM partners and customers, as well as enter new markets associated with aircraft safety.


“We see explosive demand in energy, agriculture, construction, security and logistics for long-range and remotely operated drones,” said David Cowan, Iris board member and partner at Bessemer Venture. “Iris’ collision avoidance product, the only on-board, visual aircraft recognition system to receive government approval, provides a critical piece of air safety needed to unlock this enormous market.”

For more details on Iris Automation, visit the company’s website

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