VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Investment in Linebird Supports Continued Growth of Solution that Brings Unmanned Systems to High-Voltage Power Lines

Linebird’s unmanned products replace human contact with live power lines to improve safety and reduce costs of traditional grid maintenance and monitoring

Richmond, Virginia, UNITED STATES


Richmond, Virginia, July 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), today announced an additional investment in Richmond, Va.-based Linebird, developer of a solution that addresses the safety concerns of grid maintenance and monitoring with unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Since VIPC’s initial investment in March 2021, Linebird’s accomplishments include a product launch, closing the company’s first sales, and raising $350k led by VVP, Trolley Ventures, Potential Energy DC and other Richmond area angels.

Power line inspection and maintenance is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, as it often requires manned crews to make direct contact with high-voltage lines. With the use of drone technology, Linebird is transforming the way power transmission infrastructure is inspected and maintained while reducing risk factors that currently exist for work that is traditionally handled by a manned crew. Linebird addresses these risks by offering UAS payload systems that enable unmanned work in contact with live lines, greatly reducing cost and liability of operations and maintenance.

“Since Virginia Venture Partner’s first investment, Linebird has more than quadrupled our customer funnel volume,” said Michael Beiro, Founder and CEO of Linebird. “Our safe and innovative UAS technology ensures that conducting repairs on live power lines can be done with boots safely on the ground rather than up in the air next to high voltage. We are grateful for the ongoing support of VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners to help foster our continued growth.”

Using an unmanned system allows direct-contact, live-line work without the high-risk use of helicopters, bucket trucks and pole-climbing. The solution Linebird offers can be adjusted to accommodate any industrial drone, and the system can adopt other lineman tools to do inspection, maintenance and repair. Linebird recently announced two new products: Ampstik Adaptation Kit, that integrates SensorLink’s Ampstik with the Osprey NPS, and the Navigator Installation Kit that integrates Power Delivery Products’ Navigator with the Osprey NPS.  These products provide a groundbreaking, patent-pending new method for utilizing lineman’s tools on live lines.

“The Linebird team is passionate about addressing the critical need to transform power transmission, and is making strides in advancing technology that makes these jobs safer and more efficient,” said Tom Weithman, VIPC Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of Virginia Venture Partners. “Since VIPC’s first investment in 2021, the company continues to demonstrate impressive growth and innovation between their new products, new sales and capital raise. The Virginia Venture Partners team at VIPC looks forward to being part of Linebird’s continued impact.”

About Linebird

Linebird is working to transform the way power transmission infrastructure is inspected and maintained, expanding the capabilities of unmanned systems to take work that was once costly and life – threatening and do it quickly, cheaply, and remotely with the power of automation. We are currently building a prototype to demonstrate that unmanned systems can bring lineman tools in contact with live transmission lines through a patent-pending process. For more information, please visit https://linebird.net/.

About Virginia Venture Partners

Virginia Venture Partners, formerly CIT GAP Funds, is the equity investment program of VIPC that makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, Virginia Venture Partners has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 250 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. Virginia Venture Partners’ investment decisions are guided by the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.virginiaipc.org/vvp.

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)

Connecting innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia's innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF)  |Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.VirginiaIPC.org. Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Attachments

 
Linebird’s unmanned products replace human contact with live power lines to improve safety and reduce costs of traditional grid maintenance and monitoring VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Investment in Linebird Supports Continued Growth of Solution that Brings Unmanned Systems to High-Voltage Power Lines

Coordonnées