U.S. Drone Manufacturer Skyfish Receives $20 Million in Funding!
Investment in drone companies shifts as drone technology matures. In fact, U.S. drone manufacturer, Skyfish, announced $20 million in additional funding, which is an indication that investment in drone companies is changing to reward companies that are providing advanced technology for an already established sector.
The drone industry has all too often been accused of being a solution in search of a problem, yet as drone technology continues to mature, such a claim is no longer valid. The Skyfish solution is based in the U.S. as an example of a company that provides autonomous drones that are able to deliver centimeter-level accuracy asset models, which is acceptable for engineering purposes, and the cell tower industry is quickly adopting them.
Investment in drone corporations has slowed down since the early days just before and after the enactment of Part 107, which regularized commercial drone operations within the U.S. in 2016. In 2019, drone business industry analysts DRONEII referred to the Gartner Hype Cycle in an InterGeo display by making the point that “the peak of inflated expectations” is over, but that the industry could expect a trough that would be followed by a “plateau of productivity.
That plateau seems to have been reached since the drone solutions have matured and therefore is able to offer significant value. The trend in investment this year has been for larger amounts by fewer corporations, Therefore it has rewarded corporations that can show a game-changing development or a significant return on funding for industrial customers.
For Skyfish, years of development has resulted in a new Montana manufacturing plant, partnerships with major technology suppliers, such as Sony and Bentley, and an impressive list of customers.
As Skyfish receives their new funding, they are also appointing a cell tower business veteran, Steven Bernstein, to their Board of Directors, which is additional evidence that the tower industry is really interested in what they offer.
Bernstein, founder and Chairman of SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC) and a Skyfish investor, said:
“After speaking with Skyfish customers, we quickly understood that Skyfish is unique in the commercial drone world, producing precise ‘engineering grade’ drone enabled photogrammetry and 3D Models of infrastructure. These are the best cell tower digital-twin models I’ve seen and could significantly enhance the cell tower industry’s inspection, measurement and mount mapping processes.
The Skyfish team has invented an autonomous work drone for scanning infrastructure that enables detailed centimeter grade measurements of not only cell towers, but many critical infrastructure targets: power lines, dams, bridges, electrical substations, wind turbines and airports. To date, Skyfish’s amazing photogrammetry has been a bit of an industry secret, but now it’s time to tell the world.”*
According to Skyfish Chairman, John Livingston: “We’re really excited about the investment, and our growing client base. It validates what we’ve seen throughout our development, that customers are willing to adopt technology that adds a real return on investment.”*
The investment of $20 million by U.S.-based manufacturer, Skyfish, in drone companies shifts the emphasis by rewarding companies that are providing advanced technology for an already established sector.
As drone solutions have matured and therefore are able to offer significant value, the trend in investment this year has been for larger amounts by fewer corporations. Therefore, the corporations that are rewarded are the ones that can show a game-changing development or a significant return on funding for industrial customers.