Startup Challenge 2020 Venture Division Runner Up raises over 6 million, moves closer to getting their product to market
After a ten-month equity crowdfunding run, Startup Challenge 2020 Venture Division Runner Up Parallel Flight Technologies (PFT) announced the close of their Regulation A+ campaign on June 30, 2021. The La Selva Beach-based startup raised over 6 million dollars from 4,775 investors, moving a step closer to bringing their heavy lifting drones to consumers.
PFT’s drones are designed to create safer situations for first responders in crisis situations. Founder and CEO Joshua Resnick founded PFT after nearly losing his family home in a California wildfire. Searching for a way to aid the ongoing fight against forest fires, he began developing heavy lifting drones.
Today, Resnick’s idea has grown to a reality with the PFT Heavy Lifting Platform driven by (patent pending) Parallel Hybrid technology. The heavy lifting drones or Unmanned Automatic Systems (UAS) technology can carry heavy payloads for up to two hours at a time— ten times longer than existing products. The drones are suitable to be deployed for wildland firefighting, search and rescue missions, construction, logistics, and ag applications.
Currently, PFT is focusing on wildfires. Since the heavy lifting drones are unmanned, they are able to move through thick smoke that would otherwise be very dangerous.
After winning Startup Challenge 2020 and appearing as a featured company in Community Capital Expo 2020, PFT has continued to grow toward their goal of commercialization.
Since PFT’s last funding round, the startup secured grants from NASA, NSF, and USDA, and developed additional technology to support their mission. Under the USDA grant, PFT developed a large-scale platform for controlled ignition; the NASA grant funded the creation of a redundancy system to provide a safety advantage over other technologies; and the NSF grant funded the development of computer models of PFT’s aircraft system to validate control algorithms.
Along with the grant work, the startup has designed and tested new hybrid power modules and airframes for the beta-level aircraft, filed two additional provisional patent applications for their key algorithms and the safety mechanism developed under NASA, and signed on to trade on StartEngine Secondary.
Parallel Flight Technologies also recently revealed their mobile Ground Control Station, used to operate heavy lifting drones from remote locations. These customizable mobile hubs allow operators to view live infrared video, update flight plans in real-time, and pre-program autonomous missions.
PFT expects to have the drones ready for commercialization in late 2021. The startup plans to sell full-stack unmanned aircraft solutions, service plans, operator training, and nonrecurring engineering. According to their StartEngine investment page, they will initially target “federal, state, and municipal agencies tasked with wildland firefighting, private contractors that provide wildfire services, and customers from other industries.”