What Is Skyqraft?
Founded in 2019, Skyqraft is a Swedish startup company that uses drone and Artificial Intelligence, or AI, technology for electricity powerline inspections. The business’s technology allows the drones and AI to do three things: fly drones for long ranges to achieve high-definition photos and videos, detect any issues automatically with each powerline, and immediately notify a ground crew to solve the problem.
In an interview with TechCrunch, the startup company’s co-founder and CMO Sakina Turabali said, “We provide smart infrastructure inspections using unmanned airplanes by gathering images and 360 videos and feeding that data into a machine learning system that automatically detects any risk to the powerlines.”
According to their business website, the company’s technology makes inspections “safer and smarter,” more “eco-friendly,” and customers are more satisfied with “increased power grid up time.” In the same interview with TechCrunch, Turabali from the company added, “Powerline inspections most importantly are not environmentally friendly, very costly, and unsafe with the use of helicopters and people.”
The Company’s History
The business currently has three employees, CEO David Almroth, CMO Sakina Turabali, and CTO Umar Chughtai. All three are the entrepreneurs who co-founded the startup. The drone company was founded while all three entrepreneurs were still working at Antler, a venture-capital business that primarily invests in early-stage technology companies, like Skyqraft.
According to the startup’s website, the idea for the company’s business came from Chugtai’s previous experience in working with drones and his education in Aerospace engineering. While Almroth’s experience with power grids and machine learning helped the company with its technical aspects, Turabali’s expertise comes from living in Sri Lanka, where grid blackouts were common.
To date, the drone startup has received a total of $2.9 million in funding from different investors, including Antler. The majority of that funding came just recently with a round of seed funding, equaling $2.2 million. This amount seems minuscule, considering ABI Research predicts the drone industry is estimated to be worth $92 billion by 2030. Nonetheless, it is still an impressive amount of money to garner for a startup company. Moving forward, the company plans to use the money to improve the current infrastructure in place and expand its drone business operations to the US and the rest of Europe.
The startup claims utility companies can improve the inspection speed of a 25-kilometer powerline from three days to three minutes when using drone technology. It seems that the business can support its own claim, as the three largest utility companies in Sweden are current customers of the startup, which represent 85% of the utility market in the country.
Skyqraft has achieved incredible things in such a short period of time, from the founding of the company to its impressive recent funding. As an AI and drone company, their business seems to be adjusting well during the COVID-19 era. The startup has laid a solid foundation for building on future success.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.