February 28, 2018 | Israeli startup Edgybees, whose First Response app used augmented reality to help emergency teams respond to the Northern California wildfires and post-hurricane flooding in Florida, announced Wednesday that it has completed a $5.5 million seed round led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Verizon Ventures. VC companies OurCrowd, 8VC, NFX, and Aspect Ventures also participated in the round. Edgybees technology enables augmented reality (AR) on high-speed platforms like drones and cars. Its technology was first applied to an AR racing game for drones, released in conjunction with drone leader DJI in early 2017. Later that year, Edgybees released First Response, a drone-flying app being used by emergency responders to orient themselves in confusing environments and to better track rapidly evolving circumstances. The drone flying app was first used by officials operating in the Florida Keys in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, where they leveraged mapping overlays to identify distress calls in flooded areas. First Response was most recently used by local authorities in the Northern California fires last October. “What started as technology powering a racing game is now saving lives around the world. The overwhelming response by commercial and industrial drone users looking to leverage AR, and partner with us in the fields of fire, public safety, and search & rescue has been amazing, and we can’t wait to expand the next set of drone applications into new markets,” Edgybees co-founder and CEO Adam Kaplan said in a statement.