DroneBase, a Los Angeles-based drone pilot supplier for industrial service companies, raised $ 7.5 million during the pandemic to double its work with renewable energy companies.
While CEO Dan Burton acknowledged that the company was raising funds before the pandemic, the industrial lockdown actually accelerated the demand for the company’s services.
Despite the increased demand, the company had to make some changes. It laid off six employees and refocused its activity.
“In the past three months, it has become clear that this is a time for drones as an industry,” said Burton. “As a company, we were pushing really hard, certainly in terms of growing revenue and reaping all the investments we made in technology and with a clear short-term vision of profitability.”
The new cycle, which ended in May, was a slight downward cycle, according to people familiar with the business.
“We plan to pick up a growth cycle later this year,” said Burton.
The company’s new investors included Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures, who joined Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capitla and DJI.
In total, DroneBase has raised nearly $ 32 million in funding, according to a company statement.
The new cycle will allow the company to focus on its data and analytics services it has developed around its core drone pilot provisioning technology – and gives DroneBase more financial means to expand its European operations under DroneBase Europe, which operates from Germany.
“DroneBase’s expansion into renewable energy reflects our belief in the growth potential of the wind and solar industries,” said Burton in a statement. “Given that many energy companies have both wind and solar assets, we are well positioned to leverage our DroneBase Insights platform to increase our global market share in renewable energy.”
The key application of DroneBase has been to allow wind companies to monitor and manage their turbines, improve uptime and detect problems before they operate, the company said.
For solar power companies, DroneBase offers a network of pilots trained in infrared imaging to detect anomalies such as faults or hot spots on solar panels, the company said.
“DroneBase has established itself as the market leader for drones, and its new work in renewable energy will have a lasting impact on the future of energy by keeping the infrastructure operational for generations,” says Sam Teller. , partner at Valor Equity Partners, in a statement. “We believe DroneBase will continue to be a valued partner in drone operations and data analysis in a multitude of industries worldwide.”