The Hustle

‘Self-flying’ startup, SkyRyse, raises $25m

Yesterday, the San Francisco-based autonomous flight tech company SkyRyse came out of stealth and announced it raised $25m in funding, led by VC firm, Venrock. Oh, and also, they’ve been running a pilot program since early August that will one...


August 29, 2018

Yesterday, the San Francisco-based autonomous flight tech company SkyRyse came out of stealth and announced it raised $25m in funding, led by VC firm, Venrock.

Oh, and also, they’ve been running a pilot program since early August that will one day lead to equipping police stations and firehouses with autonomous helicopters.

The key-propeller here is, ‘one day…’

The self-flying vehicle craze has been dive bombing (albeit, incredibly slowwwwly) in and out of the ether for what feels like years.

A handful of companies, including Uber and Airbus (ever heard of ’em?) are working to bring self-flying to the commuting mainstream. But the stakes for autonomous emergency response seems like a juice that is, as our editor Lindsey would say, “worth the squeeze.”

Data shows the average medical air evacuation in the US costs $12k to $25k per flight (pilots are expensive). With its fancy-schmancy tech, SkyRyse hopes to trim down both expenditures and response times.

Slow and steady…

According to a press release obtained by Wired, SkyRyse is the “first technology-enabled air mobility company to operate in the US.”

Though don’t expect them to launch out of pilot-phase anytime soon: The company’s copters don’t even have autonomous capabilities yet, and currently need refueling every 3 hours.

In other words, they’re just normal helicopters right now. But SkyRyse CEO Mark Groden believes the data he’s gathering will eventually enable the technology to get them to their ultimate autonomous destination pilot-free.

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