Californian based drone start-up company, Airware, recently announced its closure. According to the company, Airware was one of the first commercial drones in the marketplace. Having specialised in data collection and analytics through drone technology for the purposes of insurance, construction and general property management. Airware certainly was ‘pioneers’ in bringing drones into the commercial sector.
One of the major contributor’s factors for their closure is described in a press release on their website. The company says: “Unfortunately, the market took longer to mature than we expected.” Despite, their greatest efforts, the effects of a long maturing market put them under great financial pressure.
The company previously raised over $118 million from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s GV and Kleiner Perkins. Despite, it’s large investments, according to TechCrunch, Airware ‘burned’ through it all. A source tells the publication “I think having $118M in the bank led Airware to charge ahead and sink tons of money into force-it-to-work methods rather than exercise a bit of patience and wait for the inevitable advance of hardware to catch up.” The source shares how the company ‘spared no expense’ by hiring very expensive, albeit talented, staff with experience from places such as Google, SpaceX and even NASA.
While RC hobbyists have become quite accustomed to seeing their favourite RC shops, distributors and manufacturers fold, it’s not often that drone companies have to shut its operations. Although considering the current legislative climate, and the competition around drone technology, we can’t say it’s all that surprising either.
Read their full statement below:
“History has taught us how hard it can be to call the timing of a market transition. We have seen this play out first hand in the commercial drone marketplace. We were the pioneers in this market and one of the first to see the power drones could have in the commercial sector. Unfortunately, the market took longer to mature than we expected. As we worked through the variously required pivots to position ourselves for long-term success, we ran out of financial runway. As a result, it is with a heavy heart that we notified our team, customers, and partners that we will wind down the business.
This is not the business outcome we had worked so hard for over the years and yet we are deeply proud of our company’s accomplishments and our leadership in driving the adoption of drone-powered analytics to improve productivity, mitigate risks, and take workers out of harm’s way. As we close the book of Airware; we want to thank the partners and customers who believed in us and helped us along the way. And, while it is difficult to say goodbye to our team, we want to thank them for all they have contributed to Airware and the industry. We look forward to seeing how they will take their learnings from Airware to fuel continued innovations in the world around us.”