Schulich Alumni Disrupts Drone Industry with $3.3 Million in Seed Capital
Earlier this month, Skygauge Robotics announced they have closed a $3.3 million seed round, which was led by BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, with participation from RiSC Capital. The vision for the company is to create a “workforce in the sky.”
“We formed Skygauge Robotics in 2016 when we noticed a lack of design innovation in the drone industry. Around the start of the decade, we were promised a very ambitious vision that drones would do any type of job, yet the industry is mostly composed of drones taking pictures and videos for data collection,” said CEO Nikita Iliushkin (BBA ’16). “We realized this stemmed from limitations with current designs. Drones were not stable enough to do more physical work and so we had to invent a new way for them to fly.”
Using a patented thrust-vectoring design, the team developed drones to manoeuver with a full “six degrees of freedom” during industrial applications. The drone’s design reduces the time involved (up to 80%) during inspections, while improving operator safety.
“Schulich Startups and BEST Lassonde helped provide connections and access to talent and their internship programs provided high-quality candidates in a time when the company really needed it,” shared Iliushkin. With this new funding, Skygauge is in the process of expanding their foundational team at their offices in Toronto and Hamilton, in response to the increased demand during the pandemic as worker safety and reducing time on-site have become paramount concerns for employers.
Skygauge Robotics are currently engaged with over 100 potential customers, and have demos lined up with 10 Fortune 500 global companies. They are working with inspectors, pilots and industrial facilities to test the technology and bring it to market over the next several months.