Commercial drone solutions provider Airware has bought Redbird, a Paris-based company that develops solutions to collect, process and deliver drone data for construction sites, quarries, mines and landfills.
Founded in 2011, San Francisco-headquartered Airware offers enterprise drone solutions built on a comprehensive hardware, software and cloud services platform.
According to the companies, the combined solution will enable customers to plan drone flights; capture high-quality aerial data; analyze it; and create detailed, survey-grade mining and construction site maps of up to 1,000 acres per day, per drone, for immediate and exact production tracking and site safety assessment.
Redbird’s Paris office will now become Airware’s European headquarters. James Loftus of JQJ Partners acted as strategic advisor to Airware in connection with the transaction.
“Construction and excavation sites, such as mines and quarries, must be managed and operated digitally in order to compete in today’s markets. Commercial drone technology brings these operations into the digital world while offering faster, cheaper and higher-quality data and analytics,” says Jonathan Downey, founder and CEO of Airware. “By acquiring Redbird and incorporating Redbird’s powerful analytics tools on top of the Airware platform, we are helping these enterprises make this transition into the digital age.”
During the past six months, Downey adds, European companies have joined Airware’s customer base. Now, with the new office in Paris, the company will be able to better support these enterprises, “as well as meet the growing global demand for commercial drone technology,” he says.
In May, Caterpillar Inc. and Redbird expanded the geographic scope of their previously announced marketing agreement. Under the expanded agreement, Redbird’s data analysis and reporting tools are offered to Caterpillar customers worldwide, instead of only in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“Airware’s acquisition of Redbird increases Caterpillar dealers’ solutions offerings by enhancing their ability to provide an end-to-end enterprise drone solution globally, helping our customers maximize productivity, work smarter and optimize operations,” says George Taylor, vice president with responsibility for marketing and digital at Caterpillar.
Emmanuel de Maistre, co-founder and CEO of Redbird, notes that there has “never been a more exciting time” for the Airware-Redbird acquisition to occur, considering companies are “no longer experimenting with drones but are looking to put drones to work for their businesses.”
Last year, with a goal of “supporting the most promising commercial drone businesses around the world,” Airware launched the Commercial Drone Fund, of which Redbird was one of the first investment recipients.