Gibson Robotics is pleased to announce an investment round of £226k led by Gabriel Investments, a female led, Scottish business angel syndicate which specialises in funding early stage high-risk business ventures with promising commercial potential.
Whilst Gibson Robotics was officially established in January 2020, the groundwork for the organisation and the all-important concept for the drone was first considered back in April 2017 when the founder’s flight was delayed by 10 minutes due to a drone incursion. The need for such a solution was cemented as hundreds of flights were famously cancelled at Gatwick Airport in December 2018 following reports of drone sightings close to the runway. These sightings caused massive, costly disruptions and was the first real indication of how ever-increasing drone activity may affect our lives.
“I realised the ‘counter-drone’ problem four years ago while I was still a student, after a flight I took from Gatwick was delayed by a drone. I started to think about how easy it is for a drone to do significant damage with little effort” - Joe Gibson, Founder of Gibson Robotics
After realising the potentially dangerous impact of drones, Joe started developing a “counter-drone” to protect airspace from various aerial threats. Currently the best option most airports have in place to protect themselves from malicious drones is waiting for the device to run out of battery. Joe developed high-speed fixed-wing drones that physically capture other, potentially threatening drones, in a net launched autonomously from a catapult and monitored by a human operator. The Gibson Robotics-designed drone has great adaptability and can be tailored for use in other applications such as anti-piracy operations in merchant shipping waters.
“We’re committed to supporting young Scottish businesses that are developing innovative products with potential international appeal. Gibson Robotics definitely ticks those boxes and we look forward to working with Joe to turn his idea into a commercial reality.” - Jan Robertson, Interim Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise
Joe established the organisation before graduating from the University of Strathclyde with an Electronic and Electrical Engineering Degree and following 2 awards and university support, Joe decided to withdraw from his Masters to pursue this project full-time. Originally from Inverclyde, Joe went through the pitching process for investment entirely online, showing off his giant model drone on an ironing board in the background of his video calls.
“We were really impressed with Joe’s concept, not to mention his drive and determination to succeed. Our syndicate is adept at enabling fledgling businesses to take their ideas from the drawing board to a physical product, ready to be tested on the market. Gabriel is quite unique in that we don’t only provide financial support, for the young companies in which we invest, also a great deal of mentoring, expertise and experience from our business angels.” - Gill MacAulay, Director at Gabriel Investment Syndicate
“This is the first major investment we have had and it’s a real boost to the business at a key point in its development. It will allow the company to expand the team and move forward.” - Joe Gibson, Founder of Gibson Robotics
The instrumental £226k investment in Gibson Robotics will enable the company to accelerate the development beyond proof of concept and lead to real-world demonstration. The financing led by Gabriel Investment Syndicate also includes support from Scottish Enterprise, Strathclyde Inspire: Entrepreneurs Fund (SEIF), The University of Strathclyde’s dedicated early stage investment fund and two private investors.
“Strathclyde University is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent and Gibson Robotics is prime example of a young company with a potentially exciting future. We are pleased to be working with Gabriel to allow Joe and his team to bring its first product to market and this new round of funding will be used to rapidly progress the technology development of our counter-drone system." - Rob Moffat, Fund Manager at Strathclyde Inspire: Entrepreneurs Fund