Egyptian drone startup Drofie has beaten off competition from 865 other applicants to win a place in the Switzerland-based Kickstart Accelerator, raising CHF25,000 (US$26,000) in funding in the process.
Drofie, designed in Egypt but currently operating from Latvia, has developed a pocket-size camera with auto-follow feature, meaning a user can have a drone-based camera follow them around and taking pictures of them.
The startup, which is still in pre-launch, will join the Smart & Connected Machines vertical of Kickstart Accelerator in Zurich in August, receiving with it the funding and an 11-week programme of building, learning and networking.
“The money will give us a longer runway until we open our seed round to raise US$100,000, to prepare our crowdfunding campaign and create market buzz. The funding adds huge value to the company, it strengthens us in the market and is huge validation for our project,” founder Mohamed Ghaith told Disrupt Africa.
He said Drofie was built out of need.
“All nano drones or small drones in the market today can shoot aerial videos, but none of them can take still, stable shots and images. This is due to many factors, such as stability and vibrations,” Ghaith said.
The size of the drone is being deliberately managed so users do not need to have a licence to own or operate a Drofie drone, while it also comes in a variety of colours. A full commercial launch is expected next year.