Wa'ed made a $500,000 follow-on investment in FalconViz, a Saudi commercial drone services provider.
Wa'ed invests additional $500,000 in FalconViz to help drone services provider expand abroad
May 30, 2021 – FalconViz, Saudi’s leading drone solutions company, has received a $500,000 follow-on investment from Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco, to scale up operations and expand into Europe, the US and Africa.
Based at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) north of Jeddah, FalconViz plans to use the funds to develop local talent, drive research, enhance services and meet growing demand from abroad.
FalconViz’s offers a unique range of drone services including 3D surveying and mapping, inspections, construction monitoring and data visualization. The company has provided its drone services to clients for land surveying, mining, urban development and cultural heritage assessments, among other purposes.
Mohamed Shalaby, the FalconViz co-founder and vice president of business development, called the Wa’ed investment “a welcome injection of funds and confidence in our offerings and business strategy.”
“This will enable us to keep investing in our people, growing our services, and expanding our global presence across different sectors,” Shalaby added.
FalconViz’s clients include BCG, HSBC, Neom and the Saudi Ministry of Culture. For the city of Jeddah, FalconViz surveyed 250,000 square meters of the historic Al-Balad Old Town neighborhood to support the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site application.
The investment is the second in FalconViz by Wa’ed Ventures, the VC arm of Wa’ed. FalconViz is experiencing a growing customer pipeline as the global economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wa’ed Ventures first invested in FalconViz in 2016.
“It’s great to see FalconViz flying high,” said Salman T. Jaffrey, the Chief Investment Officer of Wa’ed Ventures. “To me, it’s gratifying to see one of our earliest venture capital investments commercialize its research technologies and grow globally.”
The company is seeing growing demand for its drone services.
“We are seeing our project pipeline grow quickly as companies begin to recover from the effects of COVID-19,” said Luca Passone, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer and General Manager at FalconViz.
Wassim Basrawi, the Wa’ed managing director, said FalconViz meets the profile of a preferred Wa’ed portfolio company -- a game-changing start-up whose services not only generate commercial success but diversify the economy and create meaningful impact.
“FalconViz is a perfect example of a Saudi start-up identifying and filling a market gap by delivering innovative services,” Basrawi said.
FalconViz was included in Forbes Middle East’s “Top 100 Start-ups in the Arab World” list in 2017 and ranked fifth among 800 participants in the UAE Drones for Good Award.
Founded in 2014, FalconViz has 24 employees, most of them Saudis. Within the Kingdom, FalconViz is licensed by the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and has the most licensed drone pilots of any Saudi private company. It has plans to open an office in Europe and expand into the United States and northern and western Africa.
About Wa’ed Wa’ed is the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco and the largest and most active institutional venture capital investor for Saudi-based start-ups, providing end-to-end support in mentoring, incubation, loan financing and venture capital investment. Established by Saudi Aramco in 2011 to harness the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial spirit, Wa’ed is an essential enabler of new business growth and economic diversification through its loan financing activities and Wa’ed Ventures VC arm, which oversees a $200 million investment fund and a portfolio of 30+ Saudi-based companies. Based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Wa’ed is a fully owned venture of Saudi Aramco.www.waed.net
About FalconViz FalconVizis an innovative data collection, processing, and visualization company with a focus on drone-based services. With cutting-edge research developed at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) and new techniques such as photogrammetry, FalconViz delivers surveying and mapping needs with 3D end-to-end solutions. Leveraging international and local patent portfolios in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) hardware, software and design, FalconViz offers services in aerial and topographical surveying, construction monitoring, architecture visualization, volumetric assessment and culture heritage documentation. www.falconviz.com