DroneDeploy receives $9M in software funding

By Emily Aasand | April 06, 2015

DroneDeploy, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) software and technology developer, has raised $9 million in series A funding led by Emergence Capital, with participation from previous investors, including SoftTech, Data Collective and Angelpad. The funds will be used to adapt DroneDeploy’s software to more drone platforms and to launch other products in various industries, such as agriculture, construction, mining and real estate.

“The commercial drone industry is poised for rapid growth as we continue to see companies and regulatory bodies respond to the value that drone technology can generate,” said Kevin Spain, general partner with Emergence Capital. “DroneDeploy’s software solutions are unique in their ease-of-use, speed with which they generate data, and ability to leverage the cloud to instantly deliver critical information to users’ smartphones and tablets.”

The San Francisco-based company, offers a unique software known as the CoPilot that can connect an unmanned vehicle to an Internet feed, eliminating the need for ground-based operational control.

“The CoPilot talks to the autopilot [in the UAV] and is able to give it high-level instructions,” Jono Millin, co-founder of DroneDeploy told UAS Magazine in September. “We can tell the CoPilot to map a certain area, the Copilot will then instruct the autopilot and it will also trigger the sensors in the camera to get high-quality images.”

Following DroneDeploy’s U.S. inception in 2013, its biggest customers have come from the agriculture surveying and construction fields, due to the ease use of the technology and data retrieval. DroneDeploy’s industry outreach has since expanded to include construction and mining, among others.

“The introduction of our mobile software is an inflection point for drone applications. Previously, commercial drones required domain expertise and many hours to process data. DroneDeploy recognizes that for drones to be truly useful for commercial applications, they need to be easy-to-use tools that quickly deliver value,” said company co-founder and CEO, Mike Winn. “DroneDeploy has the first push-button solution for the industry and the only solution that can deliver maps while the drone is still in flight. Our users are farmers, contractors and mining companies that are leveraging DroneDeploy solutions for their combination of speed-to-data, accessibility, and affordability previously impossible.”

The investment adds to the $2 million in seed funding the company received last September.


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