Today (Wednesday), Israeli startup vHive, which provides organizations digital inspections by use of industrial drone fleets, announced a $4 million extension to its Series A funding round. The investment was led by German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, with participation from Octopus Ventures and StageOne Ventures. The extension brings the Series A to $9.5 million in total.

Drones instead of people

vHive's software platform enables an end-to-end solution for organizations to produce 2D and 3D Digital Twins of assets such as cell towers, cranes and structures and uses AI and analytics to generate business and operational insights. The software provides an intuitive user interface for inspection, measurement and identification of equipment and faults. vHive has trained its AI and computer vision algorithms on a broad data set composed of real assets that unlock new use cases with a precision that is hard to replicate for competitors.

“We are thrilled to have the backing of a significant industry player such as Deutsche Telekom as a testimonial to vHive’s innovation,” said Yariv Geller, CEO and co-founder of vHive.  “Deutsche Telekom’s investment demonstrates their commitment to digitizing their infrastructure using the vHive platform as well as the acceptance of drones, digital twins and data analytics as a significant telecom industry practice with clear use cases and ROI.”

vHive founding team: CEO Yariv Geller (right) CTO Tomer Daniel (left) credit: vHive

vHive was founded in 2016 by CEO Yariv Geller, former VP Marketing, Strategy & Planning at Comverse Technology, and CTO Tomer Daniel, who has 17 years of experience architecting and developing software at Intel. vHive has been working closely with Deutsche Funkturm GmbH as an integral part of its digital transformation process. The joint work, which is now materializing into a long-term relationship, digitizes Deutsche Funkturm’s assets and provides operational insights using autonomous drones.

“The last decade has seen an explosion of end-device processing power, imaging technology and cloud computing. Coupled with advances in drone technology and increasingly sensitive sensors, this has created disruptive opportunities around how to capture and analyze the physical world,” said Deutsche Telekom Vice President and TIP Co-managing Director, Joel Fisch. “vHive sits at the confluence of these trends and is developing technology and business models for digitizing physical assets as a new drone ecosystem comes into being.”