Outdoor drone shows are growing in popularity – but indoor drone shows as a part of events and spectacles are even bigger. So much so that Swiss-based Verity Studios, the leading developer of indoor drone systems, says that their clients have completed more than 30,000 autonomous flights safely above people, across 20 countries worldwide.
The drones have been featured in events from Cirque du Soleil to concerts of heavy metal legends Metallica. “Cirque du Soleil’s objective is always to surprise and amaze its audience, and the Verity flying machines are unquestionably one of the most important statements of the Paramour show,” said Jean-Francois Bouchard, Chief Creative Officer of Cirque du Soleil. “When we saw the drones in a dramatic performance, the choice was simple. The Verity team was highly effective in transforming our creative vision into a spectacular flying choreography. The audience was mesmerized by the stunning visual quality of the performance. It creates moments of pure magic where you’re not sure if what you’re seeing is possible.”
Verity Studios AG announced today that it has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round, “making Verity the world’s most well-funded company in the rapidly emerging commercial indoor drone market,” says the company announcement. The company will use the funding to expand more heavily into the U.S. and other overseas markets.
“Verity has assembled an exceptional team, with credibility, valuable IP, and extensive technical know-how, all while building a fast-growing business in the live events market,” said Chris Cheever, co-founder and partner at Fontinalis, who led the funding round. “Our firm was founded to invest in and help scale the world’s best mobility technologies, and what Verity has developed has broad applicability beyond entertainment, in the drone industry and in many commercial contexts.” As part of the financing, Chris Cheever will be joining Verity’s board of directors to support its expansion.
“Founded in 2014, Verity was the first company to bring autonomous indoor drones to live events,” says the announcement. “Founder Raffaello D’Andrea, a leading robotics and AI expert, was a co-founder of Kiva Systems, which was acquired by Amazon in 2012 and is now operating as Amazon Robotics.”
“Using proprietary algorithms and system architectures, Verity’s products offer unrivaled safety and reliability within a sophisticated system that can be operated by ordinary client staff.” That has allowed Verity to consistently overcome no-drone restrictions in places like airports and sports arenas.
That safety and reliability comes from Verity’s “drone failsafe technology.” Proven in the 30,000 flights referenced above, the company also hopes to work with drone manufacturers to include the technology into their platforms.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.