Fotokite [Perspective Robotics AG], a Swiss startup making fully autonomous tethered UAVs for firefighting and public safety teams, announces that it has closed a CHF 13.7M ($14.8M) series B financing round and outlines its plans to expand operations in 2022. MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE:MSA), the global leader in the development, manufacture, and supply of advanced safety solutions that protect people and facility infrastructures, led Fotokite’s financing round alongside Swisscanto Invest, a Zurich-based tech growth fund with existing investors including Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd. and Sony Innovation Fund participating as well. MSA Safety’s investment in Fotokite took place in parallel with a Joint Development Agreement with the Swiss UAV manufacturer signed in July 2021.
The capital infusion is helping enable Fotokite to scale up operations, further bolster its in-house engineering team, and continue to drive sales of its Fotokite Sigma system in North American and European markets. The company has continued to strengthen its presence in the United States and Canada while expanding its fleet of fielded systems across major European markets such as Switzerland, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. A key component to this market expansion has been the company’s drive to increase the regional accessibility of Fotokite Sigma systems to public safety teams across 17 countries in Europe alone.
As a self-piloting, actively tethered aerial device, Fotokite Sigma provides immediate aerial situational awareness of an emergency scene to help increase response effectiveness and first responder safety. These situational awareness systems provide fire departments with the overhead aerial capabilities they desire without the safety issues and operational inefficiencies of traditional drones.
Additionally, Fotokite is pleased to announce the appointment of Bart Slager as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Bart was brought onto the Fotokite team as the Chief Financial Officer last September and steps in to lead the team. Chris McCall will transition into a new role as Fotokite’s Chief Corporate Development Officer and be based in California. Dr. Sergei Lupashin, Founder, Chairman and CTO of Fotokite, has decided to move away from his day-to-day operations role as CTO and will focus solely on his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“The entire team is excited to announce the new financing as well as welcome Bart as Fotokite’s new CEO as we grow and expand our capabilities to serve first responders”, says Dr. Lupashin.
About MSA Safety Incorporated: Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated [NYSE:MSA] is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. ith 2020 revenues of $1.35 billion, MSA employs approximately 5,200 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. For more information visit MSA’s web site at www.MSAsafety.com.
About Swisscanto Invest and the Swisscanto Growth Fund: Swisscanto Invest is the asset management arm of the Zürcher Kantonalbank group, one of Switzerland’s largest fund providers, developing high-quality investment and pension solutions for private investors, companies and institutions. The Swisscanto Growth Fund provides capital to companies in the expansion phase active in the information, communication, technology (ICT) as well as in the healthcare sectors, mainly in Switzerland and opportunistically abroad. The Swisscanto Growth Fund aims at creating added value during the market penetration by supporting its portfolio companies with capital, know-how and access to international partners for further expansion until a successful exit. For more information visit Swisscanto web site www.swisscanto.com.
About Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd.: Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd is a 100% subsidiary of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd and provides small and medium-sized enterprises as well as young entrepreneurs with access to capital, knowhow and networks. It aims to create a favorable environment in which innovative companies can incubate, develop and grow their activities. In this way, CSEC is also actively helping to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a center for innovation, economic growth and entrepreneurship. Since it was founded in 2010, CSEC has invested a combined sum of more than CHF 160 million of capital in over 60 companies. For more information visit CSEC website.