March 31st – DroneDeploy went skyward today with $9 million in first round Series A financing. The company, which provides cloud-based user-friendly software platforms for drone operations, accessible through smartphone or tablet apps, saw the investment from Emergence Capital Partners, SoftTech VC, Data Collective and AngelPad.
This follows the $2 million seed round we told you about last year courtesy of many of the same players.
DroneDeploy’s web based software automates drone flights in complex flight paths so that the operator doesn’t need to learn how to operate the drone itself. A familiarity with the company’s smartphone or tablet app is the only requirement.
The company touts agriculture, construction and mining as its key targets in commercial use, but points to the wide spectrum of applications for its product, such as teams scanning for pirates off of the coast of Sierra Leone or delivering medical supplies in West Africa. The software is compatible with DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision +, 3DR Iris+, and AgEagle Rapid, to name of few popular drones in use in the agricultural sector. (If DroneDeploy had its druthers, the company reports it would be compatible with as many drone companies as possible.)
“Farmers can fly the field at 11 o’clock in the morning, and after lunch be applying chemicals with pinpoint accuracy,” said Bret Chilcott, AgEagle founder. “What that does is it saves the farmer a ton of money. Chemicals are really expensive.”
This latest round of start up financing for a drone company is one of many in the burgeoning drone sector. The billion dollar industry has become one of the fastest growing agriculture sub-industries in the last five years as technology that was once designed for military use has proven to be especially useful in agriculture.
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Photo Courtesy of DroneDeploy.