Insurance Company Travelers Invests $3M in Kittyhawk – UAV

Enterprise drone operations software company Kittyhawk has announced a $3M strategic investment from insurance firm Travelers. The Travelers Companies’ investment will help Kittyhawk offer drone operations solutions to new markets.

From customer to investor

Travelers have long been a front-runner in the use of drones within the insurance industry. The company launched its drone program to support claim inspection in 2016 and conducted its first large-scale deployment after Hurricane Matthew. Travelers have almost 600 claims professionals that double as FAA-certified drone pilots.

Travelers have seen first-hand how clever software can help businesses leverage drone data, manage compliance and improve safety. Kittyhawk has supported the growth of Travelers’ drone operation by streamlining the data, hardware and software into one single system of record.

“Using drones to assess property damage enables us to enhance our customers’ experience, adjust claims more quickly and efficiently and improve safety for our employees and vendors,” said Nick Seminara, Executive Vice President, Claim Services at Travelers.

“Kittyhawk helps us manage the vast amounts of information we gather on inspections so we can help our customers recover from disasters faster than ever before. We continue to leverage new technologies in our business, including within our drone program, and we are pleased to further our relationship with Kittyhawk.”

Kittyhawk’s central selling point is that its app replaces the need for commercial pilots to fly with a bunch of different applications on the go, making it easier for companies to manage, track and fly drones safely and effectively. Kittyhawk has also recently been approved as a LAANC service provider by the FAA – Something that’s sure to come in handy for insurers like Travelers that occasionally need to fly in sensitive airspace.

Read more: DJI, KittyHawk and More: FAA Announce Nine New LAANC Partners

Every company can be a drone company

“Travelers is a model for other companies to follow when scaling a drone program,” said Jon Hegranes, Kittyhawk CEO and Co-Founder.

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with a trusted industry leader as we bring drone operations to new industries. Our focus at Kittyhawk is continuing to build the best tools that make using drones approachable and effective. Every company can be a drone company.”

In a blog post on the Kittyhawk website, Hegranes expands on the evolution of the company’s relationship with Travelers – which started on the floor of a Las Vegas showroom at CES 2017.

“At the time, Kittyhawk wasn’t the obvious pick to power what would soon become the largest enterprise drone program in the world, but Travelers wasn’t looking for obvious,” he writes.

“They needed a company to deliver, with speed. They needed a team to execute, without excuses. They needed a platform optimized for mobile, focused on security, and built for scale.”

Kittyhawk’s funding now stands at close to $10m. The company has received investment from Travelers, Bonfire Ventures, Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Freestyle Ventures and The Flying Object (TFO).

Malek Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for tech trends and innovation. He handles product reviews, major releases and keeps an eye on the enthusiast market for DroneLife.
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