AirMap, a provider of airspace services for drones, has raised a $15 million Series A financing led by General Catalyst Partners, the venture capital firm that has previously backed Airbnb, Datalogix, Kayak, and other companies.
The startup offers technology to make sure that consumer drone operators know where it's safe to fly and that professional drone operators know where they can fly authorized drones in restricted areas.
Other investment firms participating in the Series A include Lux Capital (which led a $2.6 million in seed funding in July 2015), Social Capital, TenOneTen Ventures, Bullpen Capital, and the Pritzker Group.
A Wired article on drone safety drew this conclusion about the startup's services:
"AirMap’s key strength is the breadth and timeliness of the information it delivers. Along with permanent flight restrictions and international airspace information, it can keep a drone equipped with temporary flight restrictions and no-fly zones that are less well documented."
While still considered toys by many, unmanned aircraft could find more routine commercial uses soon, from aircraft inspection to traffic safety monitoring to Amazon's much-discussed interest in package delivery by air.
More than 50 large airports in the US are participating in the Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), an initiative championed by AirMap.