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Venture Capital Drone Investment Reaches New Heights

BY Alan Perlman
23 June 2015

The following is a guest post by Mads Larsen, manager at DroneBlogUK. Mads has a longstanding enthusiasm for all the different facets of the drone industry.

During recent years we have seen a surge in investments into the drone industry, especially venture capitalists are showing an increasingly large willingness to take risks by investing in start-ups despite the fact that we are currently dealing with a market that is still solidifying itself.

On the regulatory side the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expecting to have its regulations in regards to the business application of drones ready around this time next year (June 2016), meanwhile the UK is also still shaping its rules for both civilian and commercial drone use.

drone vc funding chart

Right now anyone can pick up a drone in the UK and fly it as long as it weighs less than 20kg. However, for larger drones (as well as for commercial use) you will have to seek permission from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). This all comes in light of recent cases, such as when a commercial airliner nearly collided with a civilian drone near Heathrow Airport, which sparks concern for tighter regulations.

Why does this matter to the average drone enthusiast?

What we can derive from all this is that investors are seeing a market with a growth potential that overshadows the concerns and road bumps ahead, in short: The early bird catches the worm. This growth will not primarily be found with civilian users, but instead the main areas of interest to investors is to be found in agriculture, building inspection, news and video creation as well as surveying/mapping. While this will not directly affect those of us whom fly for recreational reasons, it will have a very important indirect impact on our shared passion.

It will primarily result in greater pressure on our politicians when it comes to allowing the use of drones, and easing restrictions. The amount of jobs the industry creates increases its importance and makes it much more likely that they will ease regulation in order to attract companies to the country. Secondly, and perhaps most interesting for the civilian drone-flyer, is the fact that a growing, highly lucrative and competitive market drives innovation, while also minimizing the price tag. It is a very exciting time to be a drone enthusiast, and we look forward to experiencing all the exciting innovations this rapid growth will bring with it.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Is there reason to be worried by the development, or is it purely positive? Let us know in the comment section!

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