AURA Network Systems (AURA) has closed a $30.9 million Series A funding round. “It is the latest milestone for the company, which operates the nation’s only coast- to-coast network designed to solve one of aviation’s most pressing problems: How to enable the commercial viability of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market by providing secure and reliable voice and data communications,” says the funding announcement.
Reliable and secure communications for commercial drones are critical for enabling flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and advanced air vehicles like VTOL passenger aircraft, cargo delivery drones, and other advance applications. AURA has taken a leadership position in the commercial drone community over the last year, being named by NASA as a National Campaign partner and by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to the BVLOS rulemaking committee.
In addition, a January Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling will allow AURA “to expand its network and foster UAS operations at all altitudes across the nation, not just the relatively low-level operations allowed today,” says the announcement.
“Being chosen for critical FAA and NASA projects underscores AURA’s commitment to help develop a safe and efficient transportation system for both AAM [Advanced Air Mobility] and UAM [Urban Air Mobility] activities using new and highly automated aircraft – vastly different than small hobbyist drones – that will operate and transport passengers or cargo within urban, suburban and rural areas,” explained AURA CEO Bill Tolpegin.
Combined with its initial financing of $7.5 million, the latest round of funding brings the company’s total raise to $38.4 million dollars. “We’re well capitalized to advance AURA’s technology and capabilities to safely integrate higher levels of autonomy into the U.S. airspace – not only for the UAS market but also many types of manned missions.”
AURA’s leadership team has decades of experience in both the aviation and telecommunications spaces. With the rapidly increasing need for secure and reliable communications for commercial drones, the company is well-positioned to be a major player in the commercial drone ecosystem. “We’re thrilled to be an integral part of the groundbreaking journey to transform aviation by ultimately delivering BVLOS capabilities in an FAA-compliant nationwide network for both consumers and the businesses that serve them.”