San Francisco drone services company Airware announced that they have received $30 million in Series C funding, led by Next World Capital (NWC). Airware says that the funding will be used to build out the company’s existing business infrastructure, as well as to utilize the NWC platform to expand into the European market. Next World Capital offers a European Expansion Platform, which includes strategy, sales, and business development tools.
Airware has built their business on the development of the Aerial Information Platform, an operating system for commercial drones. The company has now announced a new offering: a complete enterprise drone solutions which they will offer directly to the Fortune 500. The new offering is ambitious and comprehensive: it will include cloud-based planning, commercial operator software, unmanned vehicles, data processing, and analytics and reporting, all within a workflow system. Airware has partnered with insurance giant State Farm®, the first insurance company to have been granted a Section 333 exemption by the FAA, as their flagship client. State Farm will use Airware’s drone solution to perform rooftop inspections, underwriting, and disaster response.
The two companies announced their partnership in a press release:
“At State Farm, our active exploration of innovative new technologies will help us continue to meet the changing needs of our customers and remain the leader in our industry,” said Jack Weekes, Operations Vice President at State Farm. “We’re currently engaged in a limited deployment with Airware to conduct hundreds of test flights and assess how commercial drones can help adjusters conduct rooftop inspections.”
“With drones, enterprises can finally bridge the physical and digital worlds, yielding new actionable insights and better decision making,” said Airware founder & CEO Jonathan Downey. “But navigating a fragmented market of incomplete offerings has left many enterprises frustrated. Today, we’re announcing complete enterprise drone solutions built on Airware’s Aerial Information Platform. Airware’s unique architecture enables Airware and our customers to more quickly deploy new applications for drones in a robust and scalable way that complies with regulations, enhances safety, and ensures accurate data.”
To assist with their new business focus -selling directly to enterprise – the company has added John Chambers to the board. Chambers is the current Executive Chairman and former CEO of Cisco. In a statement, Chambers expressed his confidence in Airware’s positioning and executive team: “Successful companies get market transitions right,” he said. “Digitization and the associated business model evolution is occurring rapidly across every industry. The commercial drone industry is poised to throw many markets into transition. Airware has a great CEO who is scaling remarkably fast, a strong management team and a value-added market proposition. I believe Jonathan and the Airware team are positioned to lead, and it’s an honor to be a part of their team.”
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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