vHive raises $4 million for autonomous drone platform

Drone platform company vHive has announced a $4 million extension to its Series A funding led by Deutsche Telekom’s strategic investment fund TIP and supported by existing investors Octopus Ventures and StageOne Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the business.

vHive uses autonomous drone hives, data analytics, computer vision and AI to enable companies to digitalise their assets in a range of industries such as communications, construction, insurance and rail. In the telecoms market, it enables tower companies and telecoms operators to produce 2D and 3D Digital Twins of cell towers, reducing costs and the risks associated with tower climbing.

vHive has trained its AI and computer vision algorithms on a broad data set composed of real assets. Its software provides an intuitive user interface for inspection, measurement and identification of equipment and faults, enabling its customers to make better decisions based on accurate field data and analytics.

vHive was already working closely with Deutsche Funkturm, which acquires, plans, realizes, operates, and markets radio sites throughout Germany. The joint work, which is now materializing into a long-term relationship, digitises Deutsche Funkturm’s assets and provides operational insights using autonomous drones.

“…with advances in drone technology and increasingly sensitive sensors, this has created disruptive opportunities around how to capture and analyse the physical world,” said Deutsche Telekom Vice President and TIP Co-managing Director, Joel Fisch. “vHive sits at the confluence of these trends and is developing technology and business models for digitising physical assets as a new drone ecosystem comes into being.”

As well as working with vHive in the telecoms space, Deutsche Telekom will assist vHive to expand into other key verticals that are undergoing digital transformation such as construction, cranes, insurance and others.

“The greatest added value to be gained from our cooperation with vHive is in continually managing ‘digital twins’ of our portfolio. Through the precise digitisation of our sites and the analytic insights generated using vHive’s innovative software solution, we expect a sustainable increase in efficiency and quality,” says Martin Bouchard, Chief Operating Officer of DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH.

vHive was founded in 2016 by Yariv Geller and Tomer Daniel. It has had total funding of USD11.5 million and is based in Herzliya and Tel Aviv, Israel.