Skydio Is Emerging As a Drone Industry Trend-Setter
Many U.S. drone companies are experiencing exponential growth these days. But few have kept the hectic pace of Hayward, CA-based Skydio, a recognized pioneer in the UAV indoor inspection market. Skydio has grown by 30 times since it first entered the U.S. drone market three years ago. And it’s poised for even greater growth in 2023.
The company recently added $230 million in new investment from a handful of key investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Next47, DoCoMo, the Walton Family Foundation and Hercules Capital, bringing investment gains from its last two solicitation rounds to $562 million, with an overall valuation of $2.2 billion.
One of the remarkable features of Skydio is the company’s extraordinary versatility, evidenced by its ability to expand into new commercial niches, including construction, communications, fire-fighting and disaster relief. Skydio just received a BVLOS waiver to conduct inspections at Dominion Energy, one of 60 major grid facilities that have contracted with Skydio in the past year alone.
And that’s not all. Skydio’s also crossing over from civilian to military applications, and gaining a sterling reputation outside the private sector among a growing number of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. For example, nearly every branch of the US Department of Defense and well over half of all local and state Departments of Transportation use Skydio drones. In addition, over 200 public safety agencies in 47 states deploy Skydio drones.
Skydio is also making its mark with state-of-the-art drone technology design, including its patented “drone in a box” systems that allow drones to be launched, recharged and stored autonomously, without the need for piloting at any stage of their operation. The company just unveiled two new “drone-in-a-box” systems, Skydio Dock and Dock Lite, powered by the company’s new Remote Ops software.
Another cutting-edge Skydio growth area is data integration and security. Last December, Skydio Cloud announced a new partnership with Aloft Air Control to integrate flight logs, telemetry, asset tracking, and reporting. The new system integrates Skydio’s dependable autonomous aircraft with Aloft preflight and post-flight compliance solutions, adding an important layer of data security for Skydio’s enterprise customers concerned about unwarranted intrusions and theft of their sensitive and proprietary information.
Skydio’s new security system has been audited by Geels’ Norton LLC, which awarded the firm with a coveted SOC 2 Type II security certificate. Norton conducted a thorough examination of Skydio’s security processes, covering areas such as access controls and reviews, software development, network and platform monitoring, vendor risk management, and security and compliance monitoring, among others.
“Security concerns are top of mind for many of our largest professional fleets,” said Skydio’s Head of Security Jeff Horne. “With SOC 2 Type II compliance, we are excited to help our customers grow their fleets with more confidence and less paperwork.”
How does Skydio plan to accommodate all this rapidly escalating demand? Through a major expansion of its design and manufacturing capacity. The company is about to unveil a new 36,000 square ft. manufacturing plant at its Hayward headquarters and expects to add more than 150 new manufacturing and design jobs there and at other rapidly expanding US locations over the next two years.
The fastest growing drone company in America? You bet, and except for a Chinese competitor or two, quite possibly the fastest growing and most rapidly diversifying UAV firm anywhere in the world.