Sky-Futures have been invited to join the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (‘SVC2UK’) 2015 Scale Up Club along with 58 of the fastest growing technology firms in the UK that could hit £100m in revenue in the next three to five years. Sky-Futures was the fastest growing of this year’s 58 members and was invited to open the London Stock Exchange. The companies were selected based on their growth figures over the past 3 years (taken from turnover and employee growth). The Scale Up Club boasts previous members TransferWise and SkyScanner, both now valued at more than $1bn (£650m).The UK attracts more investment from Silicon Valley than any other major European country with $2.2bn raised so far in 2015. The entry into the Club comes after Sky-Futures raised a total of USD$4M during their series A investment round this year led by London venture capital fund MMC Ventures.
Since its launch in 2009, Sky-Futures have gained 36 clients and is working in over 16 countries across five regions of the world inspecting oil and gas assets using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs/Drones). After receiving the 46th Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Section 333 Exemption in the USA in November 2014, Sky-Futures opened its office in Houston, Texas and became fully operational in the USA in October 2015. Since 2014 the company has grown from having a total of 2 offices to 6 across the world; London, Aberdeen, Gloucester (training academy), Houston, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. This enables them to service approximately 85% of the world’s oil and gas offshore platforms. Sky-Futures expect revenue to continue to grow, doubling this year and tripling in 2016. In addition the company employed 17 new members of staff since May this year, 8 of which were within regional offices.
In November 2014, Sky-Futures USA was officially launched. This September, just 10 months later, the team became fully operational having completed its first UAV inspection for a major Oil and Gas client. In those 10 months Sky-Futures USA has come together combining expert UAS and Oil and Gas experience becoming the 46th company to gain FAA approval to commercially operate UAVs in the USA.
Due to investment in R&D and the growth of the technology team in particular, the company has been able expand its technology offering with new products ready to launch in Q1 2016. Working closely with Sky-Futures technology team is the Engineering team. Steve Moir, Sky-Futures Engineering Manager has over 20 years’ experience in the inspection and integrity industries in the UK and Middle East and Lead Flare Engineer David English, has over 35 year’s international experience. Working with these engineering experts the technology team have developed new products that solve their major oil and gas client’s inspection and maintenance problems.
Research has been focused upon technologies that enable UAVs to capture more data during inspections as well as the development of a new inspection portal in order to increase the value of this data over time through new analysis software. Other products include laser measurement tools that are able to measure the width of cracks to within a millimetre. The team is led by Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Adrian Karl with new Head of Product, Colin Hickey overseeing the launches of new technology products for Sky-Futures in Q1 2016.
James Harrison, Co-founder & CEO commented:
“We’re delighted to be recognised as part of the ‘scale up club’. To date we have raised the absolute minimum to build a proven business with proven revenues that we can scale. As a result we have been focussed on value adding technology services and products that are 100% client driven and a direct result of feedback from previous client problems and issues in the Oilfield.”