DroneView raises capital from private investor

The aerial imaging and drone operator training company raised "a few million" from Stephen Polk, a private investor and former chairman and chief executive of R L Polk & Co.

DroneView Technologies, a company founded in 2014 to provide aerial imaging and drone operator training, has closed a capital raising round after attracting investment from a private investor in the automotive industry.

Stephen Polk, a private investor and former chairman and chief executive of R L Polk & Co, a provider of automotive information and marketing solutions for the automotive industry, invested a few million dollars after long-standing discussions with DroneView, according to Michael Singer, chief executive of the drone company.

The initial funding will be used to ramp up the growth of the company’s training and commercial drone services business in Detroit and New York markets, according to the press release.

“As a private pilot and a lover of transformational technology, I have watched and wanted to participate in the US drone market for some time,” Polk said in a statement. “I am excited to partner with Michael and his team at DroneView Technologies and believe that we are entering into a market that is poised and finally properly positioned for explosive growth.”

A year in, DroneView has already established a client base in New York and Detroit and is actively studying 25 to 30 opportunities, according to Singer.

“We have been studying the various opportunities in the emerging commercial drone market for the past year and think the climate is finally right to begin to more aggressively hire a team and make the requisite investments to build a national drone services offering, initially focusing on the following three end markets – real estate/construction, industrial inspection and precision agriculture/farming,” Singer said. The firm is also looking to acquire companies that “are creative and will bring us a larger domain of expertise in agriculture such as farming techniques”, he added.

As previously reported, data security and the privacy issues related to commercial drone use remain a key concern for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but Singer is not concerned, thanks to a proposal to revise existing commercial drone rules that was released last month. The rules are expected to take effect in 2017 and spell good news for DroneView, according to Singer.

“We are excited to have finally received the proposed regulatory framework for commercial drone operations from the FAA. While we acknowledge that the details will likely be discussed for some time, it is clear that the FAA recognizes the importance of this large commercial market and the need for appropriate rules to ensure safe and responsible operations,” Singer said.

DroneView currently focuses on the US market and is exploring a presence in Canada. It is looking for strategic partners to beef up its growth.