DroneBase, an aerial data analytics company, has raised $7.5 million in Series C funding, has expanded its services to the renewable energy market with its new platform DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar, and has founded DroneBase Europe in Germany.
New investors Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures join Union Square Ventures (USV), Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and DJI in the round, bringing the total funding to $32 million.
“DroneBase’s expansion into renewable energy reflects our belief in the growth potential of the wind and solar energy industries,” says Dan Burton, founder and CEO of DroneBase.
“Since many energy companies have both wind and solar assets, we are well-positioned to leverage our DroneBase Insights platform to grow our global market share in renewable energy,” he adds.
To service renewable energy companies, DroneBase Insights for Wind allows customers to use drones to inspect a wind turbine’s vital components through an autonomous flight system, which offers consistent data, actionable insights and lifecycle management. Trained on a large database of turbine imagery, the platform leverages machine learning algorithms to pre-screen images without damage and focus customers’ attention on potential issues. Since drones gather high-definition imagery of blades quickly, renewable energy companies can minimize downtime and maximize energy production, while keeping people out of harm’s way.
Through DroneBase’s thermal pilot network trained by the FLIR Infrared Training Center, DroneBase Insights for Solar gathers accurate data that otherwise would not be visible to the naked eye. Thermal sensors are necessary in order to detect anomalies such as hot spots and defects on solar panels. As an upcoming feature to the platform, DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar will be able to detect issues with most components of a wind and solar field.
In addition to serving global energy partners, DroneBase’s first international office in Germany will expand its ability to support current customers with assets in Europe, while introducing its capabilities to new clients. Harnessing over six years of DroneBase’s product development and operational execution, companies in industries spanning insurance, construction, real estate, telecommunications and media will be able to expect the same caliber of drone services and analytics overseas.
Despite the global pandemic, DroneBase has continued to increase sales and set new revenue records in March, April and May. With flight operations supported by a pilot network in all 50 states and over 70 countries, DroneBase can fly contactless missions to ensure the safety of pilots and customers during this time.