Entering the drone zone

Flirtey CEO Matthew Swenney and one of the company's prototype drones.

Flirtey CEO Matthew Swenney and one of the company's prototype drones.

Flirtey’s future may be up in the air, but the bucks to grow the northern Nevada-based drone-maker startup are clearly being raised on terra firma.

Flirtey announced last week that it has recently received accelerated funding from Sierra Angels, Nevada’s foremost angel investment group, to help drive its continued development on the UNR campus.

According to a spokeswoman for Sierra Angels, the amount raised in the latest investment round was in the low six figures and is part of a larger infusion of investor cash now in process.

In 2013, an industry website following drone development said the company has raised $550,000 in funding, bringing its then total investment to date of nearly $2 million.

The most recent funding round will be used for expanding both staffing and product development, said the spokeswoman.

As previously reported in NNBW, UNR took an equity stake in the company in exchange for giving it access to the university’s research labs and indoor flight-testing facilities.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has called the deal to move the Australian startup’s operations to the Reno campus a demonstration of the state’s commitment to development of the unmanned aerial vehicle industry in the state.

In addition to financial backing, Sierra Angels Mentoring Corps have also coached Flirtey executives for scaling and funding readiness.

“Thanks to support and mentoring, Flirtey has secured an initial seed investment round to accelerate our development of safe UAV delivery technology and to position ourselves as a first mover when the U.S. commercial market opens up,” said Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney.


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