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Kiwi drone tech specialists raise NZ$1m and partnership with MIT

New Zealand-based Dotterel Technologies is geared for growth following an oversubscribed capital raising, the appointment of a new director and a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Dotterel's capital raise, which was led by Sydney‐based venture capitalists and tech start‐up specialists Jelix Ventures, raised NZ$1.06 million, attracted investors from the US, Australia and New Zealand, and follows a NZ$500,000 funding round last year.

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Co‐founder Shaun Edlin said the new capital will be used to drive its IP strategy, product and business development, as well as recruitment of key staff.

"We’re developing the next iteration of products to showcase to key potential clients. We are still in the early stage of commercialisation but we have several high profile commercial projects underway and we’re confident we will have some exciting news to impart to the market next year," he said.

Dotterel has also attracted top executive, angel investor and tech start‐up mentor Ian Davis to serve on its board as a director. Also on the board are Dr Sean Simpson, founder of biofuels giant LanzaTech, and Brett O’Riley, former ATEED chief executive.

Ian is a senior executive with more than 30 years’ experience and an excellent track record in North America and Australasia as a change agent in the media, telecommunications and education sectors.

He also has more than 10 years’ of board experience, including as chairman, across a diverse range of companies. Ian has become increasingly involved with tech start‐ups over the last several years as both mentor and adviser, as well as angel investor. He presently has a portfolio of 12 companies, of which he is on the board of four, including Dotterel.

Among the new investors who participated in the capital raising are K1W1, University of Auckland’s Inventors Fund and David Weekly, a prominent US expert and investor in drone companies.

"Having investors such as Jelix and Weekly onboard is great for Dotterel, as it raises our visibility and credibility in the important Australian and US markets," Edlin said. 

Dotterel was the only New Zealand company invited to the international technology tradeshow InnoTech ’18, held in Taipei in September. The Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office and Air New Zealand supported the company to attend, where they collected Gold Awards for both their passive noise reduction technology and audio recording technology. 

The company has also partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is now funding the placement of top aerospace students at the company as interns, a development that Edlin says will deliver long‐term benefits.

"These are the top students who are turning down opportunities at Lockheed Martin to come and work with us. They’re getting the opportunity to assist on R&D projects where they are engaging in some of our leading‐edge, blue sky research that will eventually lead to our next iteration of products," he said. 

Dotterel is a New Zealand-based technology company that develops and integrates a suite of noise reduction and audio enablement technology for UAVs. The company was born out of the Callaghan C-Prize, where challenges were laid down by key figures in the New Zealand and international cinematography industry to develop the next generation of UAV solutions.

Kiwi drone tech specialists raise NZ$1m and partnership with MIT
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