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Big day for robotics: 3 fundings and a merger acquisition

April 21, 2016

Skysafe

Auris Surgical Robotics will acquire Hansen Medical for $80M+, PrecisionHawk raised $18M to help bring commercial drones safely into US airspace, and SkySafe raised $3M to disable badly behaving drones in the very same airspace.

PrecisionHawk Inc. has raised $18 million in a Series C round of funding from Verizon Ventures, USAA, NTT Docomo Ventures and Yamaha Ventures. The money will be used to help companies use drones for various commercial purposes in US airspace, without getting into areas where they can’t fly safely or legally. PrecisionHawk had been known as the maker of the Lancaster fixed-wing drone for farmers — gathering aerial data about land and crops and using a variety of cameras and sensors.

CEO Bob Young said, “Building and selling planes will arguably be the smallest part of our business. Our biggest opportunity and the faster growing part of our business is the platform we built for aerial data services.”

SkySafe got $3M from Andreessen Horowitz, Founder Collective and SV Angel, to disable badly behaving drones. SkySafe, is a six-month-old, San Diego-based provider of technology that can disable drones that are flying where they shouldn’t. 

AirMap, a Santa Monica, CA provider of airspace information for airports and drone operators, just a few days earlier got $15M for a Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners. AirMap focuses exclusively on providing accurate airspace information so that others in the industry can focus on building drones, collision avoidance AI, payloads, and applications.

Auris Surgical Robotics, Inc. and Hansen Medical, Inc. today announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Auris will acquire Hansen Medical for $80 million in cash. In addition, certain significant stockholders of Hansen Medical have agreed to invest approximately $49 million into Auris with the closing of the transaction.

“Hansen Medical has developed a technology leadership position in the field of intravascular robotics,” commented Dr. Fred Moll, Chief Executive Officer of Auris. “There remains a significant opportunity in flexible robotics and I am excited to combine with Hansen Medical to advance this market.”

“We are pleased with this outcome. The combined capabilities of Auris and Hansen Medical will accelerate the proliferation of medical robotics to advance patient care,” said Cary Vance, President and CEO of Hansen Medical.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series... read more


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