While media articles proclaiming the death of the drone industry get a lot of play, investment in the industry is still going strong. As evidence, enterprise mapping platform DroneDeploy has announced a $35 million Series D funding round.
It’s true that venture capital firms are throwing fewer small amounts at drone startups just to see what sticks. Companies with a proven track record, a real value proposition, and actual clients, however, are doing well. In a conversation with drone industry analysts DRONEII earlier this year, analyst Kay Wackwitz says the trend is clear: fewer, but more substantial, investments in strong companies.
That’s why DroneDeploy’s announcement is no surprise. At this year’s user conference, the company announced new partnerships, new products, and new customers. They’ve grown with the drone industry, now serving multiple clients with fleets of more than 100 drones. The product is mature, feature-rich and reliable. They’ve invested in people and product, and it shows. Co-founder Mike Winn’s vision of “a drone on every jobsite” is getting closer.
The following is a DroneDeploy press release.
DroneDeploy announces $35M Series D led by Bessemer Venture Partners
Tracy Young, founder of PlanGrid, joins Board to help bring DroneDeploy to every job site
SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, 2019 — DroneDeploy, the leading enterprise-grade drone software solution, today announced it closed a $35 million Series D round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Bessemer partner David Cowan, a 14-time Midas list investor, will also join the Board.
“Drones are transforming how field workers safely and accurately survey job sites across industries in construction, agriculture, energy, and more,” says Cowan. “At Bessemer, we see drone solutions as a major opportunity in a $6 billion global market and DroneDeploy is the clear software category leader. The world’s largest drone deployments rely on their technology, and we’re excited to help bring the value of their platform to companies around the world.”
The funding comes on the heels of a period of rapid momentum for DroneDeploy. The company recently announced entry into the drone inspections market at its annual conference in San Francisco. It also announced new partnerships with Airbus and drone hardware maker Skydio. This latest round brings DroneDeploy’s total funding to $90 million; additional participating investors in this round included Energize Ventures, AirTree, Emergence Capital, Scale Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital.
“Businesses of every size are turning to DroneDeploy to enable them to make better decisions,” says Mike Winn, Co-Founder and CEO of DroneDeploy. “We’re proud our software delivers faster, safer and more accurate insights over the one million flights our customers perform every year. This investment is a reflection of the growth of commercial drones in the enterprise and will help us deliver on the promise of automated drone use across every industry.”
Tracy Young, Co-Founder and former CEO of PlanGrid, the leading mobile construction productivity software, also joins DroneDeploy’s Board of Directors.
“Drones are powerful and valuable business tools, but what the industry was missing was accessibility paired with world-class technology,” says Young. “DroneDeploy is an authentic, motivated software company working to democratize commercial drones and disrupt traditional industries. I’m proud to provide my perspectives and insights as they push forward.”
DroneDeploy will utilize the funding to expand internationally, move into new industries, and further build out its suite of offerings for customers.
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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