DroneBase, a leading aerial data analytics company, today announced it has raised $7.5 million in Series C funding, has expanded its services to the renewable energy market with its new platform DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar, and has founded DroneBase Europe in Germany. New investors Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures join Union Square Ventures (USV), Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and DJI in the round, bringing the total funding to $32 million.
“DroneBase’s expansion into renewable energy reflects our belief in the growth potential of the wind and solar energy industries,” said Dan Burton, CEO and Founder of DroneBase. “Since many energy companies have both wind and solar assets, we are well positioned to leverage our DroneBase Insights platform to grow our global market share in renewable energy.”
To service renewable energy companies, DroneBase Insights for Wind allows customers to use drones to inspect a wind turbine’s vital components through an autonomous flight system, which offers consistent data, actionable insights, and lifecycle management. Trained on a large database of turbine imagery, the platform leverages machine learning algorithms to pre-screen images without damage and focus customers’ attention on potential issues. Since drones gather high-definition imagery of blades quickly, renewable energy companies can minimize downtime and maximize energy production, while keeping people out of harm’s way.
“DroneBase has been instrumental in helping us scale solar asset inspection and analysis across North America,” said Jamie Mordarski, Director of Operations and Maintenance, Americas at SMA. “Their ability to provide 100 percent aerial coverage by using drones and manned aircraft gives them a tremendous competitive advantage. We look forward to growing our partnership with DroneBase as our portfolio grows.”
Through DroneBase’s thermal pilot network trained by the FLIR Infrared Training Center, DroneBase Insights for Solar gathers accurate data that otherwise would not be visible to the naked eye. Thermal sensors are necessary in order to detect anomalies such as hot spots and defects on solar panels. As an upcoming feature to the platform, DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar will be able to detect issues with most components of a wind and solar field.
“DroneBase has established themselves as the drone leader in the commercial market, and its new work in renewables will have a lasting impact on the future of energy by keeping infrastructure operational for generations,” says Sam Teller, Partner at Valor Equity Partners. “We believe DroneBase will continue to be a valuable partner in drone operations and data analysis across a multitude of industries globally.”
In addition to serving global energy partners, DroneBase’s first international office in Germany will expand its ability to support current customers with assets in Europe, while introducing its capabilities to new clients. Harnessing over six years of DroneBase’s product development and operational execution, companies in industries spanning insurance, construction, real estate, telecommunications, and media will be able to expect the same caliber of drone services and analytics overseas.
Despite the global pandemic, DroneBase has continued to increase sales and set new revenue records in March, April, and May. With flight operations supported by a Pilot Network in all 50 states and over 70 countries, DroneBase can fly contactless missions to ensure safety of pilots and customers during this time.
DroneBase is a leading aerial data analytics company, which provides businesses with a platform to leverage the world’s largest Pilot Network to make better decisions about their most critical assets. Based in Los Angeles, the company is the trusted, go-to software platform for worldwide enterprise clients spanning industries such as renewable energy, insurance, telecommunications, construction, real estate, and media. DroneBase has completed over 100,000 commercial missions flown in over 70 countries and in all 50 states. The company was incubated by Y Combinator and has raised $32 million in funding from FLIR Systems, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group, Valor Equity Partners, Razi Ventures, Accel Partners, SV Angel and DJI.