Dotterel Technologies, a New Zealand based startup that develops noise reduction and audio recording technology for drones, has announced that it has closed a funding round of AU$500k, led by a group of strategic investors.
The funds will be used to further expand the team, increase production capabilities, extend patent protection and strengthen R&D for the next generation of products.
Dotterel is part of Techstars Adelaide’s first cohort that graduated from the 13-week accelerator program in October 2017.
Investors include Korean corporate ESV, University of Auckland’s Inventors Fund, the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, Opal Ventures and Techstars.
What exactly does Dotterel Technologies do?
Born out of the Callaghan C-Prize in 2015 and founded by Matt Rowe, Shaun Edlin, Seamus Rowe and Shaun Pentecost, Dotterel Technologies is the first and only company in the world that is solely focused on noise reduction and audio enablement in drones. The company specialises in making drones quieter for various commercial uses including cinematography and defence and security.
Made up of three core technologies – acoustic shrouds, low noise propellers and active audio recording, Dotterel is well positioned to become a must-have tool for the defence and security sector as it assists with stealth during drone surveying and logistics and enables transmission of audio to communicate with troops and civilians on the ground.
Dotterel already counts a number of corporate partners including Air New Zealand, who have supported Dotterel by providing flights to and from Adelaide throughout the Techstars program, as well as flights to international trade shows over the past year.
The startup, headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand will be launching a joint venture in South Australia with Resonate Consultants, with details to be announced early next year.
What does this funding mean for Dotterel Technologies?
“This funding comes at a crucial stage as it will allow us to bring in the talent necessary to develop our products, as well as further extend our patent protection. Going through Techstars Adelaide defence accelerator program has opened many doors for Dotterel, giving us exposure to high calibre mentors and connections within the global defence sector”, says Shaun Edlin, Co-founder and COO, Dotterel Technologies
Dotterel Technologies is currently in discussion with lead investors and intends to close a further seed funding round of over NZ$1m in February. The company is also exploring collaborative projects with large corporate and defence groups in the near future.
“Drones are incredibly loud, and that’s an issue for pretty much every commercial and recreational application out there,” explained Edlin. “In security and defence, drones require an element of stealth, whereas in logistics applications noise prevents use in residential areas.”
“Legislation for drones and UAVs is changing all over the world and we believe that noise-mitigation will become mandated. As early movers, there’s an opportunity for Dotterel’s technology to become an industry standard on the next generation of drones”, added Edlin.
Josef Kang, CEO of ESV, said: “We’ve been impressed by the team at Dotterel Technologies. We are confident that there is a big market for Dotterel’s technology, especially as drones are becoming increasingly utilised in commercial applications. They have the necessary skills and innovative technology to extend the uses of drones across various industries where noise is an issue. We’re looking forward to working with them on collaborative drone projects in the near future.”
Terry Gold, Managing Director of Techstars Adelaide said, “The possibilities are endless with Dotterel’s revolutionary technology which is poised to further expand the way industries such as defence and security, cinematography and agriculture use drones. We congratulate the team on their funding success to date and cannot wait to see the company thrive and take on other markets”.