Guest post by Kay Wackwitz, Drone Industry Insights —
Old and new leader of the drone company ranking is DJI (▷1). The Chinese platform manufacturer remains expanding both company portfolio and market presence. Toy manufacturer Parrot (▷2) defends rank two with solid distance to the newcomer Xiaomi on rank three.
So far military manufacturers were not considered in the commercial drone company ranking. Since many of them opened their portfolio towards commercial solutions they are now part of the commercial drone company ranking.
Since we reached the evolutionary stage of end-to-end solutions, we also included a new category of companies to the ranking. Industrial solutions are not longer complex puzzles of choosing the right ingredients. Manufacturers increasingly start to offer UAS including software instead of UAV’s only. Therefore, we added the category “components and systems” to the ranking.
This includes now UAV engine manufacturers like NW UAV or EnergyOR, sensor manufacturers like Headwall or Velodyne LiDAR as well as counter drone solutions with companies like Droneshield or Dedrone.
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New in the ranking:
Xiaomi (rank 3)
Xiaomi the Chinese mobile Internet Company included UAV’s in their mobile phone and consumer electronics biased portfolio with a sensational bang. The Xiaomi drone was introduced in late May, offering solid flight performance and a 4K camera while dashing the price tags of competitors in half. The product launch in the low cost consumer drone market started a while ago with high investments e.g. into the Chinese camera maker Yi Technology
Hover Camera (rank 4)
The Chinese startup Zero Zero Robotics has quietly raised $25 million in funding over the past two years while remaining in stealth mode. The “flying selfie stick” is able to detect faces, flies without GPS and avoids obstacles while making pictures with 12 Megapixel. The company is using Qualcomm chipsets and Foxconn does the actual manufacturing. Retail price will be around $600 USD.
AeroVironment (rank 5)
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV), new to this ranking but not a new company at all, was founded back in 1971 with the focus on electrical/electronic manufacturing. While focusing on tactical and governmental UAV platforms, now the time is right to provide commercial solutions for precision agriculture as well as the energy, utilities and infrastructure.
Delta Drone (rank 15 △+14)
In the past Delta Drone acquired a lot of companies like Droneo, Fly-n-Sense and Hydrogéosphère MTSI. They have subsidiaries in Africa, Europe and the USA and are eager to boost their portfolio with further acquisitions (QR code technology, warehousing). Delta Drone and French logistics company Geodis are currently exploring several approaches for real-time warehouse management. The French UAV manufacturer Delta Drone (EPA: ALDR) recently announced a capital increase with offering 457.579 new shares
Sensefly (rank 18 ▽-9)
The Swiss platform manufacturer is pushing commercial solutions forward. Their bestseller ebee was recently launched in the SQ version with an integrated multispectral camera for agricultural applications. The SQ stands for Parrots “Sequoia” camera with 4 bands + RGB data. Partnering with Skyward, the American cloud-based software manufacturer enables to offer custom operations management software and a consulting service package.
PrecisionHawk (rank 19 ▽-7)
Well know by their fixed wing UAV and their smarter farming package PrecisionHawk is bringing things to a new level. With $18M USD raised in the Series C funding round (including Verizon Ventures, USAA, NTT Docomo Ventures and Yamaha Motor Vehicles) in late April, the next strategic move was right around the corner.
By linking DJI’s commercial-grade drone hardware to PrecisionHawk’s DataMapper software platform, they now offer a complete agricultural analytics solution.
In case you have missed one of our previous articles:
– Kay for droneii.com