DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, through its subsidiary DFS International Business Services, acquired late last year a 23.3 per cent stake in Belgian software company Unifly, valued at around €13 million.
The acquisition will form the basis for the joint development and implementation of the first operational air traffic system for drones in Europe in 2019.
Drone traffic manager Unifly raised a total of €14.6 million (US$16.8 million) in a B-round, bringing the total invested capital so far to €21 million (US$26.5 million).
Investors in this new round of financing include the existing shareholders QBIC, PMV, Terra Drone and the management, as well as DFS.
The proceeds will be used to continue to develop the software and to establish an international sales and support organisation to solidify its position as a global leader in Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM).
Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly: “A few years ago, we decided to develop our UTM platform to be very robust and scaleable so that it could serve as the foundation of the strategic infrastructure needed to enable the drone services industry.
The fact that the Deutsche Fluchsicherung – the national ANSP of Germany who has been working with our software for the last two years – participates in this round and becomes an important shareholder of Unify is testimony to the success of our strategy.”
Prof. Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, CEO of DFS added: “DFS and Unifly share the same vision about what needs to be done to enable this dynamic drone market. The unique combination of the leading UTM software provider and our knowhow as one of the major air navigation service providers in Europe.”