Elistair, a market leader in tethered drones, has raised €5M from Omnes and Starquest Capital, its historic investor. This Series B round follows an initial €2M funding round in 2018. Since its creation in 2014, Elistair’s solutions have already been deployed by military forces and national security agencies in over 65 countries.
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ORION 2 Tethered drone for defense (Photo: Elistair)
Automated tethered drones to protect military bases, surveil borders and provide security for major events
Elistair counts national security and defense organizations amongst its customers, offering them two patented product ranges: an automated tethered drone: Orion 2 and tether stations capable of transforming free-flying drones into tethered drones.
With their ability to detect vehicles more than 6 miles away, The Orion 2 drone acts as an aerial reconnaissance mast, substantially increasing the field of vision of operating forces and reducing vulnerable entry points. Orion 2, provides clear, and live information which is key for border surveillance and protection of perimeters and events. They are also used to deploy tactical communication networks, greatly increasing the range and coverage of military radios.
Thanks to its micro-tether technology, Elistair has solved the problem of a drones limited battery life. When connected to a generator or the electrical grid, the micro-tether powers the drone continuously, allowing it to function for 24 hours without interruption. It also provides secure data transfer between the drone and its operator through the tether. This means that the camera feed cannot be saturated and provides protection against hacking and other interference.
“Our tethered drones let units on the ground expand their field of vision considerably, as well as their understanding of their nearby environment during operations, which is often a critical factor. This funding round will allow us to consolidate our range of products for the national security and defense segment and to handle the significant amount of orders from recent months.” – Guilhem de Marliave, Elistair CEO
International presence and investment in R&D
The reliability and sturdiness of Elistair’s products have already earned recognition in the US, where the company conducts more than 40% of its business. After opening a subsidiary in Boston, the French start-up will be increasing its production capacity in order to assert its foothold in the American market, while reinforcing its presence in the European market.
“We plan to accelerate the industrialization of our production processes and build up our R&D capacity. Our technological roadmap aims to develop the next generations of tethered drones capable of responding to any and all kinds of situations and conditions. We will also be boosting our solutions’ intelligence and automation.” – Timothée Penet, Elistair CTO
Elistair is launching a campaign to recruit around 20 people for its Lyon and Boston sites. The goal is to retain its initial approach – a combination of technological innovation and knowledge of conditions in the field – thanks to a multidisciplinary R&D team and former defense operatives (from the Royal Air Force, Navy SEALs and the French Navy).
“Elistair is a leading name on the tethered drone market, which is still a relatively new market, but one that is growing quickly. Guilhem and Timothée have demonstrated an impressive execution capacity from the outset, and the company displays a rare level of business maturity after only a few years in operation. This funding will allow the company to shore up its technological leadership, and we are very eager to see the next innovations to be released on the market.” – Fabien Collangettes, Venture Capital Principal, Omnes
Created in 2014 and based in Lyon (France), and Boston (USA), Elistair designs and manufactures tethered drone solutions for tactical surveillance and civil defense missions. Elistair’s products are used by armed forces, civil security services and a number of private companies, in more than 60 countries. Elistair was co-founded by Guilhem de Marliave and Timothée Penet, both of them alumni of the scientific graduate school Centrale Lyon.
Omnes is a leading private equity and infrastructure investor. With €5 billion in assets under management, it provides companies with the capital they need to fund their growth, in three key areas: venture capital, growth & buyout capital and infrastructure. Omnes is wholly-owned by its employees. It is committed to ESG issues and has founded the Fondation Omnes to fund initiatives in favour of children and young people. It is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). www.omnescapital.com