Drone-for-Hire Business Makes Big Bet on Industry

Drone-for-Hire Business Makes Big Bet on Industry


The business of drones has ascended into the stratosphere, as investors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the tiny unmanned aircraft in hopes of turning them into big business.

Now Robert Wolf, the financier who is a confidant of President Obama, is raising his bet on an industry that has already drawn names like Amazon and GoPro and top venture capital firms like Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Mr. Wolf’s advisory firm plans to announce on Wednesday that it is spinning off its drone-services arm into a separate company. The business, Measure, is betting that its ability to fly the devices to take pictures of farmland and oil rigs will draw interest, and dollars, from a potentially huge number of customers.

Nearly two years ago, Mr. Wolf’s 32 Advisors set up Measure to capture that opportunity. Rather than focus on making the drones or the accessories and software that power them, he has banked on creating a fleet of aircraft that can be flown on behalf of customers. For Measure, it is “drones as a service.”


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