Are Drones On the Brink of Extinction? VCs Think Not!
With all the negative spin by media and government officials on civilian drone use, some worry the industry is in trouble before it even gets started. So it is refreshing to learn that a group of venture capitalists still have plenty of faith that drone-use has a bright future.
Drone.VC looks to be the first fund that caters specifically to the robo set. Created by founder of Hacker Dojo, David Weekly, the fund is looking for backers to its syndicate on Angel List.
Weekly is already looking at some nice startups in Mexico, Singapore, and California and is heading to DroneCon in Boulder, Colo. to look for more.
He got hooked on drones when he ran his first autonomous mission with his own 3DRobotics IRIS quadcopter.
“I noticed a number of my friends starting to tinker with drones in the past few months – actually a lot of people who were web 2.0 entrepreneurs have gotten drones and started playing with them, so I was curious what all the fuss was all about,” he said. “The hairs on my arms tingled when we sent the drone on its first fully autonomous mission. Watching this thing I had just wirelessly commanded take off and perform a mission while streaming realtime telemetry to my laptop was really a 21st century moment, like seeing a self-driving car on the freeway.”
Weekly sees the drone market as unique in that it is up-and-coming and very focused. Rather than looking at all robotics, he has focused on one of the most popular spaces in the market right now, commercial and personal flying drones.
BI estimates that commercial drone sales will rise to $12 billion over the next decade, a slow and steady rise that should continue as more and more users understand why they want a flying camera platform.
Weekly and others see the commercial drone industry for what it is: a beneficial business founded on cutting-edge technology. It has potential for development in many existing markets including agriculture, real estates, small-object delivery, videography, construction, and more.
Drone.VC plans not to invest in military or armored drones, according to Weekly.