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Lightspeed Ventures leads $10m drone investment

The venture capital firm led drone maker Kespry’s early stage funding round.

Lightspeed Ventures, a tech and energy-focused venture capital firm, led a $10 million series A round of funding for Kespry, a Californian drone maker. Other investors in the round were not identified.

Kespry will use the funding to develop the commercial reach of its drone products, which the firm already sells to customers in the agriculture, construction and mining industries.

The funding will also be used to develop the drones’ on-board data collection and analysis system.

“In building a powerful off-the-shelf system to deliver aerial information, Kespry is well positioned to accelerate the commercial adoption of drones,” said John Vrionis, general partner at Lightspeed. “Kespry is all about allowing commercial enterprises to focus on useful visual imagery, not the underlying details of operating drones safely and reliably.”

Kespry was founded in 2013, and received initial funding from Chmod Ventures, an angel investment group.

Drone makers are becoming increasingly visible in the agtech investment market. Millenium Technology Venture Partners led a $10 million series B round for PrecisionHawk, a drone manufacturer, in September this year.

Precision agriculture practitioners will comprise 90 percent of the drone market’s customer base, together with the public safety sector, according to a 2013 report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.