Cisco chairman backs drone security startup in $15m Series B round

The counter-drone startup will be using the funds for investment in sales and marketing, as well as for ongoing research and development.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor
Image: Dedrone

Counter-drone security startup Dedrone has raised $15 million in a Series B round co-led by Cisco executive chairman John Chambers and Felicis Ventures.

Led by CEO and co-founder Jörg Lamprecht, Dedrone works with physical security companies to set up cameras, sensors, and radio frequency scanners on high-risk sites. Using the information captured, the startup's software is able to detect aerial intrusions and provide early warnings of malicious drone activities taking place, such as someone spying on your property.

Dedrone's offering, which has been in the market for 12 months, is being used to protect airports, datacentres, prisons, sports stadiums, and other facilities around the world from corporate espionage, hacking, smuggling, and terrorism.

The startup surpassed 200 installations in 2016, with customers including the 2016 US presidential debates, the Suffolk County prison in New York, the Royal Family of Qatar, and the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Series B round brings the total amount raised by the startup to a little under $28 million.

The latest investment will be used to fund Dedrone's marketing and sales efforts, with a special focus on datacentres, as well as ongoing research and development.

Since the closure of its Series A round in May, 2016, Dedrone secured strategic partnerships with Airbus, Singtel, and Deutsche Telekom that will see the companies resell the startup's technology.

The startup was founded in 2014 by Lamprecht, Rene Seeber, and Ingo Seebach with headquarters in San Francisco and production and R&D in Kassel, Germany.

Drones have been utilised across a range of industries, from real estate, police surveillance, and pizza delivery. But the prevalence of consumer drones has coincided with a rising misuse. Criminals are using them to deliver contraband, while in October 2016, Islamic State was found using drones for bomb attacks.

In mid-2016, it was announced that the Federal Aviation Administration would be trialling an anti-drone ray developed by three British companies to detect and identify potentially dangerous or hostile drones in the near vicinity to airports. It works by tracking drones with a thermal imaging camera, then sending high-powered radio frequency signals to the drones, making them unresponsive to the controller.

In November 2016, Australian Securities Exchange-listed Department 13 revealed its anti-drone device Mesmer, which takes control of intruding drones by manipulating radio transmission protocols and forces them to land.

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