GAINESVILLE – Prioria Robotics, a developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles completed a $5.5 million series C round. Athenian Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in investments in information technology and healthcare companies, joined the financing round together with Advantage Capital Partners, the lead investor, and existing investor Florida Gulfshore Capital.
Prioria announced it will stay in Gainesville as part of its corporate expansion, bringing 40 new jobs and retaining an additional 31 positions offering an average wage of $67,588.
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Council for Economic Outreach, FloridaWorks, Alachua County, City of Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency and Enterprise Florida all partnered to assist Prioria with its expansion plans since the project began in July 2011.
“We are thrilled that Gainesville will be the location for our new corporate headquarters,” said Bryan da Frota, CEO of Prioria Robotics. “Home to a growing start-up community that we are proud to be a part of, Gainesville also has incredible community leaders with whom we were able to form this innovative public private partnership. This partnership will help our company grow to the next level while creating high-tech jobs for the community.”
Currently operating in downtown Gainesville, Prioria began seeking additional manufacturing and research and development space last year. The company was recruited by several competing locations in Georgia, North Carolina and Canada.
"Prioria’s choice of Gainesville is an example of how Florida’s business climate is conducive for headquarters establishments and business expansions, said Gray Swoope, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., the state’s principal economic development organization. “We are pleased to have the workforce and resources that can help Prioria achieve its business goals.”
Prioria’s main drivers for site location included state/community support and access to talent through University of Florida and Santa Fe College. The company considered locations offering an innovative economic development infrastructure.
After renovations are complete by local contractors Charles Perry Partners, Inc and Oelrich Construction, Prioria will breathe new life into a 22,000 square-foot former Gainesville Regional Utilities maintenance facility off Depot Avenue, now termed the Power District by the CRA.
“Prioria needed downtown manufacturing space, and the company quickly identified that GRU’s shuttered maintenance warehouse was the right choice for business,” said Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe.
The Prioria project is one of many economic development success stories for Gainesville/Alachua County this year including the announcements by Silver Airways and MindTree.