senseFly, a Parrot subsidiary providing fixed-wing drone solutions, has announced an “evolution of its commercial strategy” and a new collaborative leadership structure.
senseFly today reports that its average monthly order book has doubled since the arrival of the eBee X drone in the market in late September. In particular, twice as many customers purchased an eBee X in October and November than all previous-generation eBee systems in the prior two months.
As Parrot Group adopts a more “decentralized and flexible strategy,” senseFly is, in turn, adapting its approach in order to reap the benefits of its “enhanced independence,” the company says. In the third quarter, Parrot’s consumer drone business experienced a 45% drop in revenue compared to the third quarter of 2017. Accordingly, Parrot announced a planned layoff of 100 employees in its consumer business and a plan to have a portfolio of companies focused exclusively on drones by the end of 2019 (including senseFly).
While senseFly will continue its close collaboration with its sister companies in Parrot Group, such as Parrot Drone, Pix4D and MicaSense, its leadership team is also looking across the industry with the aim of identifying new commercial partnerships: e.g., with providers of other industry-specific software titles. Currently, for example, senseFly operators can transfer eBee aerial imagery into Pix4D, Agisoft or Trimble Business Center processing platforms.
“As the commercial UAV market matures, it is essential that we at senseFly chart our own path forwards in order to best meet the needs of our customers and to bring the productivity benefits that fixed-wing drones offer to as many businesses as possible,” says Gilles Labossière, CEO of senseFly. “This, of course, means working closely with the other companies within Parrot Group to create further integrated offerings in the style of today’s Survey 360 and Ag 360 solutions. However, it also means renewing our focus on wider strategic partnership opportunities, as this will ensure we continue to offer vertically relevant, end-to-end solutions to the growing number of organizations looking to integrate drones into their businesses.”
Following the announcement of Labossière as the CEO of senseFly in April, Jean-Thomas Célette – previously senseFly’s head of product management, business development and customer support – has been appointed managing director of the company. The two executives will work in close collaboration as co-leaders to drive the company’s growth through 2019 and beyond, according to senseFly.
Labossière will be responsible for driving commercial and product strategy, and Célette will continue to head senseFly’s product roadmap, in addition to now overseeing the company’s R&D, customer experience and operational functions.
“By adopting an intelligent and carefully defined collaborative approach, supported by our trusted department leaders, I’m confident that Jean-Thomas and I can increase the scope and capacity of senseFly’s leadership function to move the company efficiently forwards,” Labossière says.
Célette adds, “I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with Gilles to help us meet the needs of even more clients across an ever-wider range of industries.”