Tuesday, January 25, 2022

DroneUp buys AirMap

DroneUp, LLC, the leading drone flight services innovator and aviation technology provider, today announced it has acquired AirMap, Inc., the leading digital airspace and automation company serving the global aerospace economy. 

AirMap’s Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) service is the most comprehensive airspace management software solution in the world. The acquisition comes on the heels of DroneUp’s recent partnership with Walmart to offer drone delivery to consumers from a growing network of drone airports, called DroneUp “Hubs.” 

This acquisition will aid DroneUp’s robust pilot network and rapidly growing ground infrastructure with the industry’s leading UTM, which provides services for as many as 100,000 global daily flights. AirMap’s comprehensive flight data will help DroneUp establish market and regulatory leadership, and further advance safe last-mile drone services.

As drone flight volume increases, safely managing flights is beyond human scale and requires an automated system to plan, request clearance, and factor in potential hazards and airspace restrictions. The AirMap platform advances safety for DroneUp’s operations, while also providing advantages for other drone operators to publish their flight plans promoting uniform safety.  

“We’ve integrated with the best aerospace teams to bring drone delivery and flight services to market faster and more economically with our patented flight management software, and now the industry’s number one UTM solution,” said DroneUp CEO Tom Walker. “We believe DroneUp has a moral obligation to continue investment in and expansion of the AirMap platform. We will ensure this resource remains openly available to the drone industry, municipalities, and the FAA.”

“Not only is AirMap a UTM company, they are also a global leader in digital automated air traffic management (ATM) with a best-in-class market share, geographic footprint, and seamless platform technology that supports stakeholders across several ecosystems,” said John Vernon, DroneUp’s CTO and representative to the FAA’s Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC). “Transformative advances in technology are driving positive change for society, fueling decarbonization, de-congestion, and the democratization of transportation. UTM is a key enabler to high-density drone and urban air mobility (UAM) operations while unlocking autonomy and flight safety at scale. We look forward to continuing positive innovation.”

“We are excited to be joining the DroneUp team,” said Ben Marcus, co-founder of Airmap. “Since its inception, AirMap has worked to create a future where drones deliver value to millions of people in their everyday lives. DroneUp is also committed to this mission, and through its resilient, extensible network and partnership with Walmart, I am confident that we are going to create this reality.”

DroneUp operates commercially throughout the U.S. and is an authorized government drone services provider for 13 states serving public sector organizations. It has more than 190 active waivers and authorizations with the FAA. AirMap is one of three UTM providers currently deployed internationally and provides UTM in Switzerland with a geographic footprint and customer base stretching from North America to Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. 

About DroneUp

DroneUp is recognized as a drone flight services innovation leader, transforming organizations with drone delivery and drone technology solutions. DroneUp develops SaaS platforms having patented mobile app technology available at the Apple App and Google Play Stores. With technology-driven customers, together they inspire the future of drone services, providing intelligent access to airspace, automation innovation, streamlined process management, operational efficiency, and a commitment to safety.Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, DroneUp was founded in 2016 by Tom Walker. DroneUp quickly moved from an American small business start-up to a global leader, receiving a significant investment from the #1 retailer in the world, Walmart, Inc. DroneUp, a privately held company, works with more than 20,000 drone pilots to serve its customer portfolio and is dedicated to connecting communities to drone technology globally. For more information: https://www.droneup.com.

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Ed’s note

According to Crunchbase, DroneUp has to date received only $7.3M US in funding, with the last $5M of that coming in November 2021.

AirMap lists $78.7M funding to date, publicly, and we are aware also of a $50M convertible loan they had as well.

So unless DroneUp has a secret stash of cash >= $78.7M and that they paid at least​ that for AirMap, AirMap has been significantly down written in value…