Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones has invested £60,000 in Drone Safe Register, but he had to fight off competition from two other Dragons that wanted their own share in the online platform for CAA approved pilots.
Tech tycoon Jones ended up agreeing a 40% equity deal with Drone Safe Register founder Mark Boyt in an episode of the BBC series aired last night.
Mr Boyt entered the Den looking for an investment of £60,000 for a 20% share in the company. Mr Jones’ investment values the company at around £150,000.
Things started to heat up in the Den when both Jenny Campbell and Tej Lalvani also made competitive offers for a chunk of the business, but in the end Mr Boyt chose to go with Mr Jones, who described himself as a drone enthusiast and said he was excited about the opportunity as soon as Mr Boyt walked into the room. He promised to make Mr Boyt a wealthy man.
The Drone Safe Register is the first national certified network for professional and hobbyist drone pilots. The platform wants to become the first port of call for members of the public looking to capture aerial photography.
Mr Boyt explained how surveying and property were the top two markets when it came to drone use in the UK and said the public can now go to the website and hire someone who is legal, and approved by the civil aviation authority.
With the sales of drone devices soaring, stories about collisions with aircraft, delivering packages to prisoners, snooping and spying have all hit the headlines in recent months, something which Mr Boyt wants the Drone Safe Register to combat.
He said: “Concerns over safety and privacy must be taken seriously. The drone industry is rapidly growing and evolving and there is need for self-regulation while UK laws and regulations catch up and adapt to this new technology.”
He added: “Currently only commercial drone pilots are required to have approval to operate from the Civil Aviation Authority and this needs to be enforced on a regular basis. Drones can be dangerous in the wrong hands so it’s reasonable that all users should understand the risks and how to mitigate them.”
All DSR drones and pilots are marked with ID cards and branded lanyards to reassure the public they are part of the membership organisation and flying safely within the law. There is also a private group forum for members to support each other, offer advice and share best practice.
Peter Jones said: “Whilst there will always be those that flout the law for their own gain, we want the Drone Safe Register to support the thousands of responsible drone pilots there are in the UK that are fed up of being eyed suspiciously when flying their drone and to reassure the public that most of the drone operators in this country are not a risk to their safety or privacy.”
An annual membership for professional members costs £195, while hobbyist membership is priced at £24.95.
Following the programme Peter Jones gave his insight on the Drone Safe Register and the growing Drone Industry.
Click here to see the video.