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Metallica drone supplier Verity Studios raises $18m

Verity, whose drone swarm was seen circling James Hetfield on the WorldWired tour, is to expand its live activities after winning the backing of several major investors

By IQ on 14 Jun 2018

Verity Studios drone

image © Verity Studios AG

Drone technology company Verity Studios, which has worked with Metallica, Cirque du Soleil and Madison Square Garden, has raised US$18 million in a series-A funding round – an investment the Zurich-based start-up says makes it “the most well-funded company in the rapidly emerging commercial indoor drone market”.

The funding round was led by venture-capital firm Fontinalis Partners, with Airbus Ventures, Kitty Hawk and Sony Innovation Fund also participating. Verity’s founder, robotics/AI expert Raffaello D’Andrea (Kiva Systems/Amazon Robotics), says the company will use the investment to expand its live events business, especially in the US, and expand into other vertical markets.

Since its founding in 2014, Verity’s drone swarms have been used in shows at airports, in arenas and on cruise ships, including by Cirque du Soleil, Madison Square Garden and Princess Cruises.

Its drones were famously seen during Metallica’s record-breaking WorldWired tour, first appearing in Copenhagen during a performance of ‘Moth into Flames’:

Dan Braun, Metallica’s show director, comments: “After the first night, James Hetfield walked over to a microphone and announced to the audience how cool the show had been because of Verity’s drones. It’s magnificent what they are doing, whether you see it live or on social media. The programmers of the drones do a great job.”

“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,” says Chris Cheever, Fontinalis partner, who joins Verity’s board.

“It’s magnificent what they are doing”

“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.”

“I am excited to be involved in Verity, a true pioneer in the drone industry,” adds Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Kitty Hawk, co-founder of Udacity, Google X and Google’s self-driving car team, and another new Verity board member

“I’ve seen the Verity team go from strength to strength and I look forward to being part of its future growth.”

 


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