Prioria Robotics, a leader in the development of small unmanned aerial systems, announced today that it has completed the final tranche of a $5.5 million Series C Preferred round of funding. Athenian Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in investments in information technology and healthcare companies, joined a financing round together with Advantage Capital Partners, the lead investor, and existing investor Florida Gulfshore Capital. Prioria Robotics will use the new financing to advance the growth of its unmanned aerial system (UAS) platforms for military and civilian applications.
The UAS market is expected to grow from $5.9 billion in 2011 to $10.2 billion by 2016, according to Teal Group. With foreign and domestic militaries adopting and deploying these systems and civil and commercial segments in the early growth stages, there are expanding opportunities for companies with effective products that serve this growing market need. Prioria Robotics satisfies this need with the Maveric Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and Merlin embedded processing platform, which are successfully deployed in theatre and operational settings.
“With the FAA recently changing airspace regulations to allow the civil and commercial use of unmanned systems, Prioria Robotics is in the right place to serve this new market,” said Karl Elderkin, Athenian Venture Partners. “The company’s leading technology, coupled with its impressive management team and proven quality of execution, have set it up to thrive in this growing area of unmanned flight. This is a market that we will see prosper in the coming years, and we expect Prioria Robotics to be at the lead of the pack.”
Elderkin will also be joining the company’s board of directors. In this position, Elderkin will contribute his practical experience in aircraft operations in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, as well as background providing hands-on help and serving as a strategic advisor to growing businesses.
Founded in March 2003 by business and engineering graduates from the University of Florida, Prioria Robotics focuses on leading-edge unmanned systems designed to perform sophisticated aerial security or surveillance tasks. It currently offers Maveric, the first single-man portable UAV with immediate launch capability, the Merlin platform to extend reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition capabilities of a UAS, and engineering services to design custom offerings around Merlin and Maveric.
“With the growing UAS market, we needed a collaborator to help us move to the next step in our business plan,” said Bryan da Frota, CEO, Prioria Robotics. “Athenian Venture Partners, along with their knowledge in aerospace and electronic systems technologies, has a track record of supporting its companies and helping them achieve success. Athenian is a great fit, like our current investors, they have a wealth of practical experience, strategic insight, and are committed to the company’s growth.”