Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), announced an investment in Richmond-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.