Drone Funding Raleigh

PrecisionHawk closes $18M round to build out drone software platform

Some big players are jumping into the drone space. On Wednesday, April 20, PrecisionHawk- an NC based company that both manufactures drones and licenses their safety and data software for drones – announced that they had closed an $18 million Series C Round. The investors are a who’s who of Fortune 100 companies.

Today we’re excited to announce that we’ve closed our Series C round with strategic investor group Verizon Ventures, USAA, NTT Docomo Ventures and Yamaha Motors and full participation from our existing investors, Intel Capital, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Indiana University.1

PrecisionHawk PrecisionHawk closes $18M round to build out drone software platform

PrecisionHawk offers companies a wide variety of different drone-based products and services. That said, the bulk of the companies business comes from 3 main divisions:

  • DataMapper – an aerial mapping and analysis software platform
  • TerraServer – A satellite imagery marketplace
  • LATAS (Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety) – sort of an air-traffic control platform for drones

The funding round will be used, primarily, toaccelerate the development of the DataMapper platform. Currently, the platform takes only data from drones. However with the money, PrecisionHawk looks to expand the data sources:

DataMapper, which currently ingests data from all drone systems but, in the future, will combine aerial data from satellites and manned aviation so users can manage, analyze and compare all incoming data sources on a single platform. In 2015, DataMapper processed over a million acres and licensed over 200 analysis algorithms across industries from agriculture and insurance to energy and mining.2

DataMapper PrecisionHawk closes $18M round to build out drone software platform

The investors all bring something beyond just money to PrecisionHawk. USAA stands to become one of the companies largest customers. The insurance industry has begun using drones to survey damage after major natural disasters in recent years, with USAA out in the front of the pack. The San Antonio Business Journal does a good job of illustrating this:

USAA got the nod from the Federal Aviation Administration last year to use remote-control helicopters known as drones to conduct damage surveys for insurance claims. After a massive hail storm recently rolled through Texas, USAA put drones from Precision Hawk Inc. to work as a beta test in addition to insurance adjusters on the ground.3

Verizon is focused on a different segment of PrecisionHawk’s business, LATAS. Since the beginning of 2016, PrecisionHawk has been working closely with Verizon and others in the development of the platform. Dave Famolari, director of Verizon Ventures, noted the importance of LATAS in a statement:

The company’s LATAS initiative promises to be a key component to safely integrate drones into our national airspace and expand the potential applications for drone technology. We look forward to building our relationship with PrecisionHawk as it continues to innovate and expand into new industries and geographies4

This news demonstrates an emerging trend in the drone industry. The hardware is becoming less and less important; there are hundreds of companies building drones of varying quality. The software that powers these drones and collects data is becoming the major differentiator, and PrecisionHawk now seems poised to become the leading software provider.

The video below gives you a good overview of the company. For more info, head over to PrecisionHawk.com.