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News & Notes

Commercial Drone Companies Appeal to Investors

With Part 107 quickly approaching, DroneDeploy and PRENAV announce funding

August 24, 2016

Two commercial drone-related companies, DroneDeploy and PRENAV, announced funding today. These announcements come five days before Part 107 — the new commercial small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) regulations that will make it easier for businesses to utilize drone technologies — goes into effect.

DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform for commercial drones, announced today that it raised $20 million in its second round of funding. The San Francisco-based startup enables other businesses to use drones as accessible and productive tools for data collection.

Its software is used across a wide array of industries including agriculture, construction, mining, and inspection. DroneDeploy users in over 130 countries have mapped over 5 million acres using the software. According to a news release, the amount of data generated by the company’s users is doubling every four months.

“2016 was a tipping point for commercial drones. Businesses in every industry are leveraging drones and our software, and seeing that easy to capture, aerial data enables faster and better decisions,” said Mike Winn, co-founder and CEO of DroneDeploy, in a news release.
The PRENAV team has secured $6.5 million in financing for its automated commercial drone system, which will initially be used for infrastructure inspection like cell towers, wind turbines, buildings, rooftops, flare stacks, and oil tankers.
Another drone company also announced funding today. PRENAV raised $6.5 million in seed funding to continue developing its automated commercial drones that are guided by computer vision. The company plans to release its commercial drone system, which focuses primarily on capturing infrastructure data, in 2017.

“With the FAA’s new Part 107 drone regulations taking effect at the end of August, we expect tens of thousands of workers from industry to become certified as drone operators,” said Eric Chin, partner of PRENAV’s lead investor Crosslink Capital, in a news release.

Part 107 has been long-awaited by those in the drone industry and those looking for a way in. Looking to become a commercial drone operator? Don't forget to study for the required aeronautical knowledge test.