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Waterloo drone maker Aeryon Labs raises $60 million from Summit Partners

Aeryon Waterloo-based Aeryon Labs has taken a $60 million ($45.9 million US) investment from Boston’s Summit Partners to help the company scale into the small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) market, which analysts believe will approach $6 billion by 2020.

“This is a significant milestone for Aeryon Labs,” said president, CEO and co-founder Dave Kroetsch. “It validates our technical lead in the market and our ’aviation not recreation‘ approach to building sUAS, which is quickly making Aeryon a first choice for utility inspectors, first responders and soldiers in the most demanding operational environments.”

Aeryon, which specializes in drones for the military, public safety and commercial operators market, has customers in 35 countries and has experienced profitable organic growth through its nine-year history.

According to Kroetsch, the company has grown its sales 100% year-over-year and now has approximately 100 employees in the north end of Waterloo, which will likely double in size with the new investment.

Kroetsch is open to exploring the sale or the IPO of Aeryon in the next couple years.

“Much of the Summit portfolio is comprised of founder-led companies, poised to take commanding positions in high-growth industries. We believe Aeryon exemplifies these characteristics,” said Summit Partners Managing Director Len Ferrington, who will join the Aeryon Labs Board of Directors. “The market for sUAS is rapidly expanding, and we believe that Aeryon is a best-of-breed provider that is well positioned to capitalize on those opportunities.”

Summit Partners, founded in 1984, specializes in investment in the technology and healthcare sectors, and has invested in over 400 companies.

Founded in 2007, this is Aeryon Labs’ first significant round of funding.

The other day, a fire broke out in a building under construction across the street from Aeryon headquarters. What’s striking about the footage is the image stability despite the very strong winds, which are noticeable when looking at the flags and tarps blowing in the shot.

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