Christina Cardoza

Mar 31, 2016 10:44:24 AM

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Commercial drone operating system provider Airware has announced it is partnering with Fortune 500 companies to deliver complete enterprise drone solutions. The company will be targeting insurance, utilities, telecom, and oil and gas sectors to improve operational efficiency, ensure compliance, enhance worker safety, and capture accurate and repeatable data to improve decision-making.

“With drones, enterprises can finally bridge the physical and digital worlds, yielding new actionable insights and better decision making,” said Jonathan Downey, founder and CEO of Airware. “But navigating a fragmented market of incomplete offerings has left many enterprises frustrated. Today, we’re announcing complete enterprise drone solutions built on Airware’s Aerial Information Platform. Airware’s unique architecture enables Airware and our customers to more quickly deploy new applications for drones in a robust and scalable way that complies with regulations, enhances safety, and ensures accurate data.”

Airware’s technology aims to help enterprises plan, capture and analyze aerial data with work management, compliance, operator software, autonomous data collection, data processing, and analysis and reporting features.

The company has already announced a partnership with State Farm, which will use Airware’s technology for rooftop inspections, underwriting and disaster response.

“At State Farm, our active exploration of innovative new technologies will help us continue to meet the changing needs of our customers and remain the leader in our industry,” said Jack Weekes, operations vice president at State Farm. “We’re currently engaged in a limited deployment with Airware to conduct hundreds of test flights and assess how commercial drones can help adjusters conduct rooftop inspections.”

Airware is also announcing a US$30 million round of funding to expand the company’s reach, professional services, sales and marketing functions. The round was led by Next World Capital, with John Chambers, Andreessen Horowitz, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers participating.

Chambers, executive chairman and former CEO of Cisco, will be joining Airware’s board of directors. “Successful companies get market transitions right,” he said. “Digitization and the associated business model evolution is occurring rapidly across every industry. The commercial drone industry is poised to throw many markets into transition. Airware has a great CEO who is scaling remarkably fast, a strong management team and a value-added market proposition. I believe Jonathan and the Airware team are positioned to lead, and it’s an honor to be a part of their team.”

In addition, Tom Rikert, partner at Next World Capital, will be joining the company as a board observer.

“Airware's enterprise-grade solution unlocks the value of drones by integrating them directly into business operations, across a variety of applications and verticals," he said. "We saw Airware as the most experienced team building a global leader in a massive new category, and are delighted to be part of this journey supporting them in scaling sales, marketing, operations, and international expansion."

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