DroneBase Lands $12M in Funding, Teases AirCraft Pro AR Platform

DroneBase just secured a new round of funding to help expand its operations technology including augmented reality.

DroneBase just secured $12 million in Series B funding to expand its drone operations technology, which the company will use to advance its augmented reality technology platform, AirCraft Pro. This recent funding brings the company’s total funding to $17 million. 

The last time we reported on DroneBase’s AR platform, an application for recreational and enterprise use that could significantly influence architecture and construction industries, the application was still in its early stages. This recent capitol added to the company’s wallet could very well help it refine the technology, and complete the Pro version of that project. 

According to DroneBase, the additional funding was led by Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, DJI, Hearst Ventures and Pritzker Group. According to Head of Enterprising Partnerships at DJI, Jan Gasparic, the capitol invested will allow DroneBase to keep advancing its software in order to maximize efficiency across a multitude of industries. 

“DroneBase has addressed two key challenges in the industry by providing reliable, affordable and scalable drone services for enterprises across industries, while offering opportunities for pilots of all skill sets with purposeful reasons to fly their drones,” he said. 

Gasparic is alluding to the potential of AirCraft Pro for both experienced and novice drone users. CEO and founder of DroneBase, Dan Burton, stated that “Every pilot began as a drone hobbyist and enthusiast,” and that “as AirCraft encourages pilots to fly more, many will become open to the possibility of making money from their drone.” 

Essentially, the AR segment of DroneBase being developed here is being considered as an entirely new multi-purpose platform, in which all sorts of users can take part. One scenario may see a construction engineer create a digital, 3D AR model that can be used as a blueprint or part of their business model. The Minecraft-esque aesthetic here may very well even convert a few young people to put down the keyboard and pick up a drone. The possibilities are fairly endless, at this stage. 

AirCraft Pro, in the field., DroneBase

DroneBase recently completed more than 100,000 commercial drone missions for clients in all sorts of industries, and assisted the Flight To Remember Foundation, which we reported on last month. The company has grown a pilot network tenfold each year for the past two years, and has a turn-around of 48 hours regarding client missions. There are pilots on standby in all 50 states, and in over 60 countries. 

“We want DroneBase to have the best customer experience for both our enterprise clients and pilots, and that means automating the operations layer so both parties can focus on what they do best,” Burton explained. “We’re advancing how drones can make enterprises more efficient, and this new funding will allow us to make AirCraft Pro a reality.” 

Since the initial AirCraft platform launched on the DroneBase Pilot App, users have positioned hundreds of thousands of virtual blocks across the globe. There is clear demand and potential for this augmented reality method of strategizing, planning, and interacting with the world. AirCraft Pro, then, is aimed at companies from construction and telecommunications to insurance increase efficacy and maximize their productivity. While the DroneBase Pilot App is already available for both iOS and Android users, the AirCraft Pro element is scheduled to arrive later this year. 

DroneBase says its API will help enterprise companies send in hundreds or thousands of orders directly, which would lower costs and save time. In addition, the company has recently integrated AirMap into its workflow, and facilitate securing airspace clearance. 

“We believe DroneBase will own the operations and infrastructure of the drone ecosystem and be able to serve clients across every industry as a result,” said DroneBase board member and Partner at Upfront Ventures, Greg Bettinelli. 

While I have yet to personally check out the AirCraft platform, I was very enthusiastic about its potential when first encountering the technology. From the seemingly genuine praise and the renewed financial trust in DroneBase’s activity, it appears that the company might truly be onto something new, here. I’ll be keeping an eye on AirCraft Pro and its promised release, as I’m sure many drone pilots across industries are too.