Skydio’s AI-powered flying robotic drones for enterprise
Skydio is a Redwood City, California-based flying drone manufacturer, using AI technology to give them autonomy.
Skydio is targeting the enterprise and public sector, however, with its upcoming Skydio X2 autonomous drone platform. Powered by the company’s Skydio Autonomy AI, and leveraging computer vision and deep learning, the company’s offering can build a 3D understanding of the world around it. That’s led to its adoption by organisations such as the Civil Air Patrol.
Since its foundation in 2014, the company has raised some across six funding rounds. Its latest , announced last week, saw the company raise $100mn from lead investor Next47, alongside Playground Global, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Levitate Capital, IVP and Andreessen Horowitz.
In , Adam Bry, Skydio CEO, said: “Manual drones lack the software intelligence that enterprises need to scale their programs. Skydio’s goal is to unlock the value of drones by creating a radically simple user experience through the power of true autonomy. With Skydio 2 (S2) we’ve proven that our autonomy software can fundamentally change the way people use drones, and that an American company can not only compete, but can lead the way in AI-powered drone technology. We are now bringing the power of autonomy to enterprises, government agencies, first responders, and defense customers.”
The company is also partnering with Eagleview, an aerial imagery and data analytics provider, for an upcoming solution for the autonomous inspection of residential properties.
Said Bill Banta, General Manager - Enterprise Solutions, EagleView: “Skydio HouseScan is a game-changing capability for residential inspections. Thanks to these market leading capabilities, Skydio drones can automatically perform context-aware 3D scanning of residential properties. Delivered as part of EagleView’s enterprise solutions, Skydio HouseScan allows insurance inspectors to capture more precise data, efficiently and safely.”
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.