DroneDeploy raises $35M Series D to expand drone inspection capabilities

The Robot Report

SAN FRANCISCO — DroneDeploy this week announced that it has raised $35 million in Series D funding. The drone inspection software company said it plans to use the funding to build out its suite of offerings, expand internationally, and move into new industries.

DroneDeploy said it is “the leading enterprise-grade drone software solution,” with more than 5,000 customers in oil and gas, construction, mining, solar and wind power, and search and rescue. The company claimed that its customers have mapped more than 100 million acres (greater than the size of Greece and Italy combined) at more than 400,000 job sites and said it expects several customers to have fleets of more than 1,000 drones next year.

“Businesses of every size are turning to DroneDeploy to enable them to make better decisions,” stated Mike Winn, co-founder and CEO of DroneDeploy. “We’re proud our software delivers faster, safer, and more accurate insights over the 1 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.”

Updated offerings and partnerships

DroneDeploy enables autonomous flights controlled through its apps, and its software can process maps and data from multiple sensor types using machine learning.

Last month, DroneDeploy said it had improved its flight experience and workflows, enabling operators to use a single app to conduct remote inspections beyond mapping. It also improved 3D visualizations, its Drone Operations Management suite, and product integrations.

In addition, DroneDeploy has partnered with aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE for unmanned traffic management and with drone hardware makers DJI and Skydio Inc.

The global market for drone inspections will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53.8% between 2018 and 2026 to reach $92.52 billion, predicts Research and Markets.

DroneDeploy adds board members

Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, and David Cowan, a partner at the firm and 14-time Midas List investor, will join DroneDeploy’s board of directors.

“Drones are transforming how field workers safely and accurately survey job sites across industries in construction, agriculture, energy, and more,” Cowan said. “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.”

Other participants in DroneDeploy’s Series D included Energize Ventures, AirTree, Emergence Capital, Scale Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital. DroneDeploy said it has raised a total of $90 million to date.

Tracy Young, co-founder and former CEO of PlanGrid, a mobile construction productivity software company, has also joined DroneDeploy’s board.

“Drones are powerful and valuable business tools, but what the industry was missing was accessibility paired with world-class technology,” said Young. “DroneDeploy is an authentic, motivated software company working to democratize commercial drones and disrupt traditional industries.”

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Source: therobotreport

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