Israeli drone maker Airobotics raises $32.5 million in private funds

Optimus, a drone manufactured by Airobotics, the Israeli drone maker that says it has recently been granted the first certificate in the world to fly a fully automated drone, with no human operator, is seen during a demonstration for Reuters near their offices in Petah Tikva, Israel March 20, 2017. Picture taken March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Nir Elias

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s Airobotics, a maker of automated industrial drones, said on Thursday it raised $32.5 million in a private funding round led by BlueRun Ventures China, Microsoft Ventures and

It also received funding from existing investors including, CRV, BRV, Waze CEO Noam Bardin, Richard Wooldridge, and David Roux, the co-founder and former chairman of Silver Lake Partners.

Airobotics said the funds will meet growing demand in the mining and homeland security industries and go towards investing in its business development efforts and expansion across industrial facilities.

It added that it is creating a new division of Homeland Security and Defense, as well as an initiative to use fully automated drones to perform emergency tasks in cities.

Airobotics is the first company in the world to be granted authorization to fly fully automated drones without a pilot, as licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), which positions the company as a world-leader in the field of automated drones.

Reporting by Steven Scheer