French drone manufacturer Delair-Tech has received $14.5 million US from investors, including the Andromède fund. Andromède is backed by famous cognac family Heriard Dubreuil, who own the Rémy Cointreau companies. Andromède now owns 22 percent of Delair’s capital.
The wine makers have invested in several drone companies, seeing the value that agricultural drone technology holds for the wine industry. Andromède has also invested in drone distributor Avon, and in Prodrone, a smaller drone manufacturer, Bloomberg reports.
“We are thrilled to become shareholders in Delair-Tech, a company which embodies French technological ex- cellence, serving the largest industrial groups in France and throughout the world. With this investment, Andromède is affirming its determination to be a key investor in the professional civil drone sector, an area of par- ticular interest”, stated François Morinière, Advisor to the Andromède Board of Directors, in Delair’s press release.
Delair plans to use the investment to improve it’s technology and fund its expansion:
Already present in some thirty countries, Delair-Tech is seeking to accelerate its global expansion significantly in 2016 in order to operate in all five continents and to develop a local services relationship with clients, especially major accounts abroad. Delair-Tech is already present in the Australian market with a subsidiary created in January 2016. A subsidiary is expected to be opened in the US in the second half of 2016 and plans for a Chinese subsidiary are also underway.
Delair’s smallest drone costs $33,000, but has a flight time of about 2 hours and weighs less than 4.4 pounds, which could put it into the US’s proposed “micro drone” class for the purpose of commercial authorization. The company hopes that their packaged drone/software offerings will be appealing to commercial customers and allow them to price competitively.
Delair will not comment on the company’s valuation, but had sales of 2 million euros (over $2,250,000) last year.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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