Soon drones will be watching you—at least if you try to break into a protected industrial facility.
Nightingale Security, one of the startups with that vision in mind, is making its public debut after raising a seed round for its drone-powered enterprise security system. The San Francisco-based startup builds autonomous drones and software that enterprises can use to inspect or monitor sites, even relaying information in real time and automatically if faced with potential threats.
Developing the drones in-house is crucial for the company so it can produce a drone specifically for security purposes, said co-founder and Chief Executive Jack Wu.
“It’s a harder road to travel, but it’s the road that will ultimately lead to success,” he said.
Nightingale provides consulting services to help customers deploy its technology, mirroring a pattern adopted by several drone startups. The company has paying customers in the data center and energy industries, Mr. Wu said, while not giving specifics.
Impact Venture Capital, a firm based in Burlingame, Calif., co-led the round along with Denis Hébert, chairman of the Security Industry Association and a member of Nightingale’s board.
Impact general partner Eric Ball said the company fit Impact’s cross-sector focus on software and data analytics. “We look for technologies that we think can cut across multiple verticals, and we think it can impact different customer spaces.”
Nightingale has the drone’s base manufactured in Taiwan, but it builds the drone itself in the U.S., Mr. Wu said. He and his co-founder, Chief Technology Officer John Hsu, have been developing the technology since founding the startup in 2014.
Mr. Wu and Mr. Ball declined to disclose the amount seed funding they raised.
Nightingale isn’t the only venture-backed startup taking aim at the market for security applications. Tel Aviv, Israel-based Airobotics has raised $28.5 million to provide drone hardware and software for industrial security and safety inspections.
By: Patience Haggin
Nov. 4, 2016 7:30 a.m. ET