Drone solutions startup senseFly has moved its North American headquarters from Washington D.C. down to Raleigh, North Carolina. The commercial drone subsidiary of Paris-based drone company Parrot Group, the startup provides 360-degree aerial mapping solutions and drone hardware to surveying, agriculture, engineering and humanitarian aid professionals.
“The decision to move our headquarters to North Carolina was primarily driven by our continued commitment to meet the needs of our customers,” CEO Gilles Labossière tells Hypepotamus. “The move has already seen us streamline our operations — with our shipping & logistics, customer service, and sales & marketing teams all housed in one spacious location — enabling us to better optimize our customers’ businesses and deliver exceptional service across the region.”
Labossière was named CEO of the company this past April after serving as the Executive Vice President and COO of parent company Parrot Group. He played a key part in the acquisition of senseFly in 2015.
He says he’s focused on boosting senseFly’s worldwide expansion, with the move as a key part of that strategic scaling. “Innovation is at the core of many organizations [in Raleigh] — a notion reflected in our culture at senseFly — and we’re already seeing benefits from being part of this network,” says Labossière.
senseFly has partnered with North Carolina State University’s NextGen Air Transportation Consortium, a group of 30+ members in academia, aviation industry and government, to integrate further into the local technology community and work with other members towards their mission “to devise unmanned aircraft system implementation strategies and integration timelines, while supporting the development of regulatory processes in the region.”
The new office will host senseFly’s shipping and logistics operation, customer support and success, and sales and marketing teams.
“Our focus will be on growing senseFly’s market share in North America — leveraging our significant expertise in geospatial and agriculture, as well as the wealth of experience in the wider Research Triangle network,” says Labossière. senseFly also has satellite offices in Florida, Iowa, China and Australia.
In addition to the move, Labossière plans to collaborate more closely with its parent company to sync up their drone solutions portfolio and offer a larger scope of services to customers. One such service is Always On, a service package that helps eliminate project disruption by providing operators with a free replacement drone if they have an issue, within 48 hours. This service was launched last year and is available in the U.S and Canada.
Labossière says they can thus offer services across the spectrum to support any drone operator or company.
“This integrated approach means professionals in the region have access not only to drone hardware, but also flight planning and image processing software, and extensive support and training materials through the senseFly Academy,” says Labossière. “We also provide end-to-end offerings that are industry-specific via our comprehensive 360 solutions, for the surveying, mining and quarries, inspection and agriculture sectors.”
Labossière shares that much of the innovation coming out of the mapping drone industry over the last few years has been let by North America. As he and his team continue to spearhead new product development, they have committed to continue to prioritize safety.
“Our team has invested in providing these industry-specific tools, using our insights from time in the field to inform product enhancements and spearhead new developments. We work closely with regulators on a regional basis, sharing data and insights to help inform legislation and ensure safety remains front-of-mind for drone providers and operators alike.”
Photos courtesy of senseFly