Several years ago, Airware’s Jonathan Downey was one of the stars of the drone industry, speaking at conferences and sharing his company vision for drone data analytics. Airware was a pioneer in the industry, among the first to talk about data instead of drones. But earlier this month, Airware announced that they were folding, leaving the future of their software solution and customers in question.
This week, French commercial drone leader Delair announced that they had acquired Airware’s “key assets”, ensuring continuity for Airware’s customers.
While both Delair and Airware were early players in the industry, Delair has grown and expanded while Airware struggled against new competition and specialization in the industry. Delair has formed key partnerships with other major players in the industry and has worked on their own software solutions. The acquisition makes even more sense when you consider that the Airware assets include Redbird, a team of construction and mining specialists which Airware bought in 2016. “We are very excited to see our team joining Delair. There’s a great fit as this will form a comprehensive solution with hardware, advanced software, and customized services. Optimized analytics is the key piece of software that enterprise companies need to scale their drone program. We look forward to leveraging our unique capabilities in machine learning and commercializing them with Delair,” said de Maistre, co-founder and former CEO of Redbird. De Maistre will take a position leading software channel sales at Delair.
The following is from a Delair press release.
Delair, a leading supplier of commercial drone solutions, today announced an agreement to acquire the key assets of Airware, a developer of innovative software analytics tools for drone-based data. The acquisition brings Delair leading edge technology assets, including a proven software solution, a highly skilled engineering and customer success team in Paris, and an installed base of customers and dealers worldwide. The acquisition accelerates Delair’s global growth and broadens its end-to-end solution for the commercial UAV market. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The acquisition signals a new period of growth and product line expansion by Delair. With the integration of Airware’s complementary technology, we have significantly strengthened our position as the leading provider of drone-based business intelligence globally. This strategic development further enhances our offer which enables the digital transformation of enterprises in the key industries we serve,” said Michaël de Lagarde, co-founder and CEO of Delair.
Major synergies between two pioneering drone companies
The addition of Airware’s assets will expand Delair’s presence in the United States, as well as in key industrial markets.
Founded in 2011 in California, Airware has developed a successful software offering and its cloud-based solution has been adopted by large companies in the construction, mining and insurance industries. Airware (and previously Redbird) developed its solution together with Caterpillar. Caterpillar dealers covering more than 50 countries have provided the Airware software to their customers to improve productivity and safety on mines, quarries, and construction sites.
Airware’s technology complements the product line from Delair, which is recognized as one of the world’s leading pioneers in commercial drone solutions, especially for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. Delair has focused on end-to-end solutions since its inception in 2011, including fixed-wing drones, cloud-based data processing and analysis, local customer support and custom consulting services. In September 2018, Delair closed a round of B-Series financing with Intel Capital to accelerate the development of its software offering, and the Airware acquisition supports that strategy. The company, which now has more than 180 employees worldwide, supports customers in a wide range of industries such as mining, construction, energy, utilities, oil and gas, transportation, security and agriculture.
“Airware played a pivotal role in enabling enterprises to leverage drone technology and powerful analytics to improve productivity, mitigate risks, and take workers out of harm’s way. As we looked for a partner, we were impressed by Delair’s vision and all the synergies that exist between our technologies and our views of the market. The drone industry is maturing fast and customers are now looking for comprehensive, end-to-end solutions. Airware’s advanced data management and data analysis tools will be highly complementary with Delair’s existing solutions. This will greatly benefit all our customers, who are using drone technologies to improve their operations. We are proud that our technology and much of our team lives on as part of the market leader, Delair,” said Sasha Pesic, CEO of Airware.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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