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DroneDeploy is latest drone company to raise capital

The Californian drone technology company has raised $9m in Series A funding following an earlier seed round last year. It is the third drone company to raise capital in a month.

DroneDeploy, a San Francisco-based start-up that provides cloud-based software solutions for commercial drone operations, has raised $9 million in Series A funding. The capital raise follows an earlier $2 million seed round in September 2014.

Emergence Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early and growth-stage enterprise cloud companies, led the Series A with participation from other venture investors such as SoftTech VC, the firm that led the seed funding last year, DataCollective and AnglePad, according to the press release.

DroneDeploy’s capital raise is one of many in a flourishing drone sector. Just last month another California-born consumer drone technology company, 3D Robotics, raised $50 million in Series C funding and DroneView Technologies, which provides aerial image and drone operator training, secured capital from a single investor.

The total commercial drones market was valued at $15.22 million in 2014 and is expected to reach $1.27 billion by 2020, according to a report published by MarketsandMarkets, a market research company, in February.

DroneDeploy will use the funds to adapt its software to work across more drone platforms and launch additional products in several industries including agriculture, construction, mining and real estate.

“The introduction of our mobile software is an inflection point for drone applications,” said Mike Winn, DroneDeploy’s co-founder and chief executive, in a statement. “Previously, commercial drones required domain expertise and many hours to process data, DroneDeploy recognises that for drones to be truly useful for commercial applications they need to be easy-to-use tools that quickly deliver value.”

DroneDeploy’s users are farmers, contractors and mining companies.

Kevin Spain, general partner with Emergence Capital, will join DroneDeploy’s board with Jeff Clavier from SoftTech as part of the transaction.

“The commercial drone industry is poised for rapid growth as we continue to see companies and regulatory bodies respond to the value that drone technology can generate,” Spain said in a statement.