Parrot drones have become so popular, the company is spinning off the drone division into its own company. In the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call, Parrot announced it was creating a subsidiary dedicated entirely to drones.
The report stated 2015 second quarter drone-specific earnings rang in at $33.5 million. That amounted to about 44% of the entire Group revenues in the quarter compared to 18% (about $11.5 million) in the same quarter last year.
Retail drones, headlined by the Parrot’s Bebop drone, generated 75% of the earnings while commercial drones, headlined by Parrot’s sensefly brand, generated 25%.
And the company is well positioned to build upon this year’s success. In June, the company announced an entirely new line of connected robots joining their very successful line of MiniDrones. The line will include six new jumping robots modeled after the Jumping Sumo, five new mini quadcopters similar to the existing Rolling Spider, and, most interestingly, two hydrofoil robots that can race across water and through the air.
It should be noted though, that the hydrofoil robots are simply new builds of the Rolling Spider minidrone with an aquatic attachment.
In fact, it is sort of a stretch to call Parrot’s MiniDrones ‘drones’ at all.
A drone is a flying robot with autonomous features that is used to complete a job. Parrot’s MiniDrones, while fun, extremely successful, and excellent beginner models for people who want to get into drones, are toys.
Even Parrot’s AR 2.0, which was sort of the face of consumer drones until the rise in popularity of DJI’s Phantoms, is just a toy.
Parrot’s Bebop, which we reviewed quite favorably, is really the company’s cheapest true-drone offering; it combines autonomous features with a more than capable camera and is an absolute joy to fly.
There is no official release date or pricing information for the new MiniDrones, but we expect the launch to come before the holidays and the price tag to be around the existing equivalent models ($79 for the Rolling Spider, $130 for the Jumping Sumo).
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com