Drone technology continues to be integrated into numerous industries and businesses, ranging from real estate companies to agriculture technology platforms to filmmaking crews. Prior to breaking into consumer markets, the military benefited from the service of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Drones play an important role in surveillance and security missions but are often restricted by their limited battery life. Startup company Elistair recently garnered investor support for its tethered drone business during a $5.8 million Series B funding round.
“Our tethered drones let units on the ground expand their field of vision considerably, as well as their understanding of their nearby environment during operations, which is often a critical factor,” said Guilhem de Marliave, CEO and co-founder of Elistair. “This funding round will allow us to consolidate our range of products for the national security and defense segment and to handle the significant amount of orders from recent months.”
Support for the startup company in the newest financing round was driven by Omnes Capital as well as existing investor Starquest Capital. The drone business previously secured $2.3 million during a seed funding round in 2018. With the latest funding raised for the drone company, Elistair will continue to expand into international markets. Last year, the business opened its first North American office in Boston to strengthen its network of partners and enhance customer support.
Continuous Surveillance and Enduring Flights
Founded in 2014 by de Marliave and entrepreneur Timothee Penet, Elistair targets the issue of limited battery life when utilizing drones for important tasks like military surveillance or security. Rather than relying on batteries, the startup business developed a lightweight tether station that taps into electricity from a grid or generator to supply continuous power to the drone.
The tether stations offered by the startup company are designed to be secure and durable while minimizing any changes to flight performance. Tethered drones, in addition to maintaining flight and video capture for longer periods, also hold primarily stationary positions, so pilots do not need extensive experience to properly use the surveillance systems. The micro-tether technology developed by Elistair also allows fast data transmission to the operator for low-latency video feedback.
Tether stations were designed by the startup company to be portable and easily mounted onto vehicles for mobile missions. While Elistair offers its own drone specifically outfitted for military and public agency surveillance missions, the tether stations developed by the startup business are compatible with a number of drones from manufacturers like DJI.
A Solution for Several Industries
Companies across a number of different industries have already found uses for drone-tethering technology like that offered by Elistair. The startup business has provided its tethering equipment to customers, including the Paris Police Department, the United Nations, and the US Army.
As drone technology continues to penetrate new markets, tethering technology that reduces the limits on drone capabilities will likely fill an important role in the emerging industry. Market research expects the tethered drone market to grow by $193.67 million from 2020 to 2024.
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.