Although drones haven’t been widely available to the consumer and commercial markets for very long, the last few years have seen dozens of startups capitalizing on the increasing popularity of these remote-controlled miniature aircraft. Popular crowdfunding websites, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, have proven to be a popular source of funding for these innovative startup companies, with funding totalling $412 million in 2014.
Presenting a significant growth over the previous year, drone startups have become one of the fastest growing niches in technology. As they become more widespread, in spite of the strict regulations regarding their use, drones are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Some may even be piloted using a smartphone, and some drone startups, such as Skydio, even plan to build drones that are capable of navigating based on what they see using their built-in cameras.
A startup based in Berlin, Skysense designs drones for commercial purposes such as farming and industrial inspection. Their main aim is to overcome the very limited battery capacity that most drones currently have, which allow them to fly for a maximum of only 20-25 minutes. To make them more practical for commercial and industrial use, Skysense develops wireless charging pads constructed from waterproof aluminium surfaces. Also in development is a hanger designed for safely storing and charging the drones between flights.
American startup DroneDeploy aims to make drones more accessible to industrial users, particularly those in agriculture, mining and construction, with its innovative mapping software. The software-as-a-service product starts at $99 per month, and shortly after exiting its beta testing phase in March, 2015, it received funding of $9 million from its investors. DroneDeploy promises to offer the quickest and easiest solution for building aerial maps and models at a fraction of the price of doing so with manned aircraft. The entire process, including flight planning, image capture and processing is all done automatically, while data is transmitted to the cloud-based software, making it accessible from anywhere.
Another startup aiming to facilitate field data-gathering in industrial applications, US-based Skycatch managed to raise $13.2 million dollars in its first round of venture funding back in 2014. Similarly to DroneDeploy, Skycatch turns suitable drones into powerful surveying solutions providing access to 2D and 3D maps of sites with a resolution of 1 cm per pixel. Their software is specifically designed for use in construction, agriculture, mining and solar energy, allowing users to inspect their sites using a fully automated solution.
Founded in 2010 in California, Airware quickly became one of the better funded drone startups, receiving $10.7 million from its first round of funding. Another aerial data platform, Airware is aimed towards land management, mapping, search and rescue, damage assessment and infrastructure investment industries. Marketing itself as an operating system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Airware is designed to integrate with existing business systems and work with multiple aircraft simultaneously. Both its ground-control software and autonomous flight control system are designed to work with a wide range of UAVs, including multirotor and fixed-wing drones.
Inc Plan (USA) provides a full range of incorporating services in all US 50 states to help entrepreneurs and startups generate tax savings, protect their investments and carry out ongoing corporate maintenance. Our services provide everything you need to establish your corporate identity and turn your startup into a successful limited liability company or corporation.