Growth, Maturity, and Service Specialization Reflected in Drone Industry Insight’s 2022 Drone Market Map

BY Zacc Dukowitz
26 October 2022

Drone Industry Insights just released the fifth edition of its Drone Market Environment Map, a map that shows all the major players in the drone industry.

The companies on the map are broken into hardware, services, and software, with subgroups for each.

Credit: DroneII

[Download your own copy of the map on the DroneII website.]

One thing that stands out when looking at the map is just how many companies there are. This year’s report contains a total of 1,076 companies, including 379 new companies that weren’t included in the 2019 report.

Overall, the map has 128 more companies than the 2019 version. (251 companies were removed due to closing or being acquired.)

But the map isn’t meant to be exhaustive.

DroneII notes that there are plenty of drone companies that didn’t make it onto the map, and that inclusion doesn’t imply endorsement.

The primary purpose of the drone market map is to highlight the diversity of the global drone industry and to display some of the leading drone companies that work in various sectors of the market.

– DroneII

Major Takeaways from the 2022 Market Map

Here are some key insights about the drone industry from the 2022 map.

Hardware and Services Dominate the Count

Hardware is the biggest category, representing 50% of the companies on the map.

Drone platforms included in the Hardware category

A fairly close second is Services, which makes up 37% of the map. Both of these are followed by Software, a distance third at just 13% of the companies on the map.

Increase in Specialization on the Service Side

Within drone services we see a great deal of specialization. Though drone service providers dominate the category, there are a total of 14 subgroups, reflecting the fact that the types of services provided for drone ops has become just as diverse as the types of drones being made.

Drone service providers are just one of 14 subgroups in the Services category

The U.S. Has the Most Drone Companies by Far

When comparing countries, 31.3% of the companies on the map are based in the U.S., followed distantly by the U.K., which has only 7.3% of the total companies.

To give this percentage more context, when looking regionally, all of Europe represents 40.3% of the companies on the map—showing just how much the U.S. dominates in terms of number of companies.

Credit: Skydio

Of course, it should be noted that sheer quantity of companies doesn’t necessarily reflect revenue. DJI still owns the consumer drone market, and most of the professional drone market as well, and these numbers aren’t likely to change that fact significantly any time soon, though other companies are starting to take small bites out of its market share in some segments.

Biggest Cities for Drone Companies

Wondering which cities are drone industry hubs?

Here’s a list that includes only cities that have 11 or more drone companies:

  • London—25 companies
  • San Francisco—20 companies
  • Shenzhen—15 companies
  • Tokyo—14 companies
  • Zurich—12 companies
  • Berlin—12 companies
  • Hamburg—12 companies

Aerial Power is a London-based drone company making drones for cleaning solar panels

Two New Segments for Hardware

This year, vertiports and communication were added as subgroups for hardware, reflecting the growing importance of both activities within the drone industry.

Vertiports are hubs for drone taxi operations (think small airports). Their inclusion as a separate subgroup reflect the growing importance of drone taxis and a shifting emphasis from working to create these futuristic vehicles to now building out the infrastructure to support them.

A Vertiport Designed by Urban-Air Port

Who Is the Map For?

The market map has a few immediate uses.

One clear use is as a directory. As the drone industry grows it becomes more and more complex, with new companies focused in niche use cases.

This increase in specialization generally means a corresponding increase in quality, but it also means that finding the company that does exactly what you need may be hard to do.

As DroneII writes:

Trying to find a drone service company focused on system integration? It’s on the map! What about a hardware manufacturer specializing in navigation systems? Also on the map!

That being said, if you’d like the full database of companies included on the map (instead of using a magnifying glass to do your research), you’ll have to pay for it—$1,394, to be exact. The database can be found here.

Another clear use for the map is research.

As the drone industry grows, more and more analysts are conducting research on things like its size, its revenue potential, its potential impact on other industries, and lots more.

Comparing this map to the 2019 map, we can see a huge growth not just in the size of the industry, but also in the maturity and specialization within it. It will be interesting to see which new categories and subgroups are added for 2023, reflecting new trends and uses for drones that are just now being imagined.

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