EXCLUSIVE: Consolidation will be prevalent in the commercial drone market during 2018, claims Sky-Futures

Over the course of 2018, the commercial drone market will consolidate through increased competition, increased levels of drone automation and the adoption of industry specific and standardised drone and data software packages by commercial customers, claims Sky-Futures.

The company’s co-founder Chris Blackford told Commercial Drone Professional: “Like in any market, as soon as the technology gets popular it gets swamped with hundreds, if not thousands, of different companies who all want a piece of it. However, we have now passed the saturation point and natural consolidation has started to happen. We saw this last year with increased M&A activity and some companies disappearing.”

The technology company, which specialises in complex vertical inspections and data analysis software, first entered the market almost eight years ago when little was known about drone technology.

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Over the last eight years Blackford has been able to observe changing trends and shifts in the market. The co-founder also identified that Enterprise organisations are increasingly turning to in-house drone solutions to trim costs and increase efficiency.

He added: “Companies with major infrastructure projects or large volumes of assets are finding that other companies they’re competing with might already have this capability and they know that actually the future is about using robotics and data analysis software, like our Expanse platform, to be more efficient and be safer in their work.

“If you look at the way the market has grown, seven and a half years ago we had a war of attrition to get our first job. A lot of our energy went in to education and demonstrating the value of data captured by drones. The greatest competition to us isn’t competition itself, it’s technology adoption and education.

“We are now in a market where customers recognise the operational flexibility and financial efficiency of having an in-house drone operation over one that is out sourced. The drone has commoditised and is now an additional data collection tool for inspection and survey operations. Coupled with a powerful data analysis platform like Expanse, the impact of drone technology for these companies is significant.”

Tags : businessChris BlackfordDronesky-futuresUAVUAV sector
Emma Calder

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