Commercial drone technology platform PrecisionHawk has acquired two companies to further expand its footprint in the energy sector.
The two new additions to the Raleigh-based company’s portfolio include Virginia-headquartered HAZON, which focuses on drone technology for utilities, and California-based InspecTools, which makes machine vision software and data analysis tools for the renewable energy market.
“The energy sector isn’t new to PrecisionHawk as we’re supporting customers such as Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, and we’ve always had our eyes on the sector as a key growth market for commercial drones,” PrecisionHawk CEO Michael Chasen told Hypepotamus.
“By integrating HAZON and InspecTools’s expertise and specialized technologies into PrecisionHawk’s portfolio, we’re ensuring that our customers have access to the most cutting-edge capabilities that address their unique needs, which in turn will accelerate the overall adoption of commercial drones.”
The acquisitions come less than a year after the company closed its $75 million Series D round this past January and acquired two drone pilot startups.
Chasen shares that the energy market for drone usage is huge: afound that infrastructure and utility inspections made up more than half of all commercial drone activity in 2017.
“HAZON and InspecTools offer highly specialized solutions and are incredibly knowledgeable about the use of drones in the energy market,” says Chasen.
HAZON has led more than 13,000 inspections that have been highly focused on Fortune 500 utility companies, totaling over 8,000 hours of flight time. And InspecTools’ software is currently employed on solar panels and wind turbines for some of the largest equipment manufacturers and service providers in the world.
“Everything I’ve been doing is been setting us up not only to take advantage of the huge growth in this market, but also make sure that we were at the forefront of it, helping drive it forward,” Chasen, who took the CEO position in 2017, shared with Hypepotamus.
The CEOs of both companies will join the PrecisionHawk’s executive leadership team to help integrate their products and drive more innovation into the multi-billion-dollar market. Chasen’s goal is for them to “more tightly integrate our mutual domain expertise as well as our drone-based data solutions.”
“By joining PrecisionHawk, our customers gain access to the next level of technological sophistication for more scalable, predictive and cost-efficient drone solutions that drive better business intelligence,” said HAZON CEO David A. Culler, Jr., in a statement.
“This relationship further enhances the technologies and services that are fundamental to advancing the economic potential of drones in the energy market,” InspecTools CEO Paul Bingaman said in a statement.
PrecisionHawk plans to continues to stay active in the agriculture, construction and civil building industries. A recently formed partnership with aerial imagery company EagleView will allow them to tap into the insurance industry, as well.
“Today, insurers are increasingly using drones for asset inspections, particularly when assessing claims. With drones, insurers can gather data about asset conditions that is unprecedented in precision and objectivity. This practice is transforming the claims cycle, making it faster and safer for adjusters to observe, analyze and assess the damage associated with incidents ranging from one-off accidents, to natural disasters,” explains Chasen.
“We’re looking forward to growing our relationships with partners like EagleView to help drive better business intelligence in remote claims inspection and the greater insurance market,” he says.