Terra Drone, a major Japanese drone operator and system integrator, invested a total of 5 million euro together with Qbic and PMV, in Unifly, an aviation software development company focused on drones that is based in Belgium.
Terra Drone, which provides 80% of the total capital, confirms with this investment its trust in Unifly, the European leading provider of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) and Drone Operations Management software. Unifly will use the investment to accelerate its growth and to build an international sales organization. The company is uniquely positioned to capture a large market share and to become a global player.
Unifly, which is a VITO spin-off specialized in aviation software development financed by SOFI Fund of QBIC and PMV, already gained the leading position in Europe by providing UniflyUTMS, a management system which allows the integration of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) into the existing aviation network. VITO is the Flemish institute for technological research.
The primary goal of UniFly is to facilitate the safe integration of drones into the aviation system. UniFly does this by bridging the gap between manned and unmanned aviation. Since the introduction of Unifly’s application software for professional and private drone operators in April 2016, over 1,000 users have registered, of whom over 30% come from outside of Europe.
On November 17, 2016, Unifly completed their Series A round but with this have brought in Terra Drone as well as their original investors signing to make the investment 5 million euro (5.3 million dollars). This brings Unifly to a total of 6.3 million euro (6.6 million dollars) in external funding, forming the single largest investment in a European UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) software company.
“I am very glad and excited to enter into the UTM business and alliance with Unifly, the leading company of UTM, said Toru Tokushige of Terra Drone. He adding that, “In the partnership with Unifly, we will expand the business in APAC, and also set the global standard. We are eager to launch the service to accelerate the drone industry as soon as possible.”
Unifly aims to become the de facto standard for professional drone operators, and is also partnering in global initiatives such as the Global UTM Association and ISO to develop standards for Unmanned Traffic Management.
Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly said: “We are very proud and excited to have been able to attract Terra Drone as an investor. Not only do they bring us the resources enabling us to accelerate our growth significantly; they will also be instrumental to opening up the market for us in the APAC region”.