The capital raised is from a private institutional investor based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, who seeks opportunities with tech start-ups in the early stages of growth. Skyborne’s existing shareholders welcomed the new investor as a shareholder and investor board member.
The investment will grow the company over the next 24 months to further develop and mature the target and firing weapon system on Skyborne’s Cerberus GL UAV that will lead to commercialisation.
The US$2.45 million Series A capital raised will be used as much needed working capital to develop Skyborne’s bespoke targeting and firing control system. The funds will support the expansion of the team from three to 10 full-time employees, securing a commercial premise (mixed office and workshop) and procurement of hardware for the development and testing of the integrated system.
The investment establishes an aggressive tech development timeline to get Cerberus GL to market. Within six months a live firing demonstration will be performed to demonstrate the capabilities of Cerberus GL. The following 18 months will allow Skyborne to refine the platform for commercialisation efforts in anticipation of customer trials and sales.
The investment is the largest amount of capital the company has raised to date and is an important milestone. The success is off the back of the 12-month Queensland state government Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund awarded to the company to design and assemble two flying prototypes of the Cerberus GL.
The recent investment into the Queensland economy has ensured Queensland’s defence industry strengthen and allows SMEs, like Skyborne Technologies, to participate and innovative hardware products.
The investment has also created additional jobs in the Queensland economy, which is one of the key goals for the state government. The Australian government’s 2016 Defence White Paper and Integrated Investment Program projected an increase in defence spend over the decade to 2025-26 to close to $450 billion.
Skyborne’s Cerberus GL is the lightest armed micro tactical unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), at around six kilograms. It provides both law enforcement and defence force an airborne direct fire support UAV with multi-threat engagement, in addition to providing standard intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) small UCAVs on the market.
Cerberus employs a unique tri-tilt rotor platform design allows for the airframe to be used the primary gimbal to gross aim an armament, such as 40mm grenades (HE, smoke, flashbang, tear gas), without the need for a low-slung, heavy gimbal system. The unique airframe design allows for a small light weight armed UAV.