Isranomics

XTEND Raises $40 Million in Funding After Proving Drone Capabilities in Combat

by | May 8, 2024 | Innovation | 0 comments

XTEND, an Israeli drone manufacturer specializing in attack and intelligence drones, has successfully raised $40 million in a Series B funding round. The funding follows the proven performance of XTEND’s drones in urban combat during the war with Hamas.

While the company did not disclose its post-investment valuation, industry insiders estimate that it has now reached $110 million. XTEND was also recently recognized as one of the top 10 most promising Israeli startups by nearly 70 investors in a list published by Globes.

What Sets XTEND Apart?

XTEND’s drones stand out due to their intuitive control interface, which features a joystick and reality glasses that provide a live view from the drone’s perspective. This user-friendly design allows soldiers, familiar with video games, to easily operate the drones. Instead of maneuvering the drone manually, operators can simply point to a target on the screen, and the drone autonomously flies to that location, navigating through buildings, tunnels, or carrying payloads.

Photo credit: XTEND executives (Kadia Levy)

The drones are also modular and can work with multiple operating systems simultaneously, operate without GPS, and connect via fiber optics. This flexibility has made them a valuable asset for both military and civilian applications.

New Investors and Diverse Applications

Clal-Tech, Len Blavatnik’s technology investment fund, led the new funding round alongside an undisclosed major Japanese financial institution. Clal-Tech has previously invested in notable tech companies like Verbit, Papaya Global, and Iron Source.

Existing investors, including the Chartered Fund, a Japanese-Singaporean investment company founded by Israeli Eyal Agamoni, also participated in the round.

XTEND’s drones have proven essential in Gaza, where four different models support various tasks such as dropping grenades, scanning tunnels, and incapacitating terrorists. Additionally, the drones help save the lives of soldiers and military dogs by scouting dangerous areas and absorbing enemy fire.

Beyond defense, XTEND’s dual-use model enables it to serve civilian markets like oil and gas. British Petroleum and Hyundai use XTEND drones to inspect facilities for potential faults and corrosion.

Building an Operating System for Robots

XTEND is now leveraging its experience from the Gaza conflict to develop an “operating system for robots.” Moving beyond just hardware, the company aims to be the software backbone for a variety of military and civilian robots. Its Linux-based operating system draws inspiration from Android, which dominates the smartphone market.

To meet rising demand, XTEND is considering establishing a production line in Israel and may go public in Japan or on the Nasdaq in the future.

“Before the war, it was difficult to raise money, and suddenly everything opened up,” said Aviv Shapira, CEO and founder of XTEND. “The funding will help us manufacture drones at scale, establish partnerships with Japanese electronics companies, and further develop our operating system.”

Main image: XTEND Griffon drone (XTEND website).

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