Chinese UAV Inspection System Developer FOIA Closes Series A Round

FOIA, a Shanghai-based UAV automatic inspection system developer, has raised tens of millions of RMB in a series A financing round from Zhonghuijin Capital and Envision Capital.

Proceeds of the round will be used for R&D and marketing investment. Previously, the company had obtained a Pre-A round financing led by Shanghai Zhongfu Equity Investment Management.

Founded in 2018, FOIA mainly develops UAV automatic patrol and inspection systems for industrial applications, including hardware products, UAV automatic flight algorithms, and AI image recognition and cloud management platforms. Its drones are provided by DJI, and the company is also a partner in DJI’s ecosystem. The combination of FOIA’s products realizes automatization of the entire process from inspection sites, flight process, and image recognition. Customers can remotely control and complete inspections in office or in car.

FOIA claims that their UAV automation system is suitable for more than 20 application scenarios. Now it is mainly applied in the fields of electric power inspection and security patrol. Next, the company will gradually expand to the smart city sector, including emergency, environmental protection, urban management, water affairs and other scenarios.

In terms of AI image recognition, except self-developed algorithms, FOIA will also cooperate with third-party computer vision service providers such as SenseTime and Megvii to provide package solutions for customers as an solution integrator.

The company currently has more than 40 customers. Cao Yabing, founder of FOIA, claimed that many pilot customers started ordering products in batches this year, and shipments are expected to increase by 200% this year. Similar to other artificial intelligence products, FOIA is also based on the accumulation of data to perform iterative upgrades of autonomous driving and automatic image recognition products.

FOIA focuses on government and enterprise customers. Customer acquisition is mainly promoted through channels such as exhibitions, media, and industry partners. The company is also equipped with a marketing team to serve key customers. As development of their technology and products, the company will expand overseas markets with higher labor costs, including overseas private security.

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