Australian Drone Analytics Startup Propeller Aero Hits US$18M Mark in Series B

Existing backers Blackbird Ventures and Costanoa Ventures return to lead Propeller’s fundraise

Australian drone analytics solutions provider Propeller Aero has raised US $18 million in its Series B round of funding, the New South Wales-based company announced in a statement yesterday.

The capital was raised from Oceania-based venture capital fund Blackbird Ventures and U.S.-based early stage venture investor Costanoa Ventures, both of which led the round, the statement said.

“Propeller is one of the fastest-growing companies in our portfolio at a large scale, but more importantly is building a special culture that will allow it to make a large impact for many decades to come,” Partner at Blackbird Ventures, Niki Scevak noted in the statement.

Propeller is a proptech startup for worksite management using 3D mapping and analytics solutions for construction, aggregates, mining, and waste management sites.

The funds will be channeled towards scaling its business and launching its new product DirtMate, a real-time machine tracking system, slated for release in Q1 2021, CEO and Co-founder of Propeller, Rory San Miguel noted in the statement.

“Our new product DirtMate is the real-time complement to our existing workflow. We’ve taken our existing GPS technology and created a version that’s easy to install on every earthmoving machine,” San Miguel said.

“As each machine is moving across the worksite, moving dirt, we track elevations to build surfaces in real-time, within a few centimeters of accuracy,” he continued. “With DirtMate, we move from being a retrospective tracking solution to a solution that can detect issues and suggest improvements in real time.”

DirtMate went into beta testing in March this year, according to an earlier press note by the company.

Both Blackbird Ventures and Costanoa Ventures are existing backers of the company, having provided seed funding to the startup in 2015.

“We have continued to invest as we have seen the company emerge as category leaders, operate at high standards of excellence, and show real dedication to their customers. Propeller is firing on all cylinders,” Partner at Costanoa Ventures, Mark Selcow said in the statement.

The company further announced the fresh board appointment of Roz Buick. Buick was previously at Trimble, an enterprise proptech company, as Senior Vice President for over 24 years.

The company currently caters to over 4000 global worksites on a monthly basis, the statement said. It added that Propeller’s platform saw a 40% increase in surveys uploaded from Q1 to Q2 this year.

Propeller had previously raised its Series A in two tranches, with a $3.1 million round in late 2016, and a second $10.1 million round in 2018. Blackbird Ventures led the latter tranche, while Costanoa Ventures co-led the 2016 round with U.S. based early- and growth- stage venture capital firm Accel Partners.

Prior to its Series A, the company had raised AU $1.6 million as seed funding spread in two rounds that took place in February 2015 and October 2015.

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

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