The valley has a bit of a thing for drones lately — have you noticed? Airware, which builds brains for commercial unmanned aircrafts, just raised $10.7M. Longtime Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson left his position to go fulltime on his DIY drone company, having raised $5M. Even Union Square Venture’s Fred Wilson has been brainstorming what he’d do with a drone of his own.
Later this week at the AngelPad demo day, another drone-centric company will make its debut: DroneDeploy. Unlike the rest of the lot, DroneDeploy doesn’t want to build drones, or even the parts that go inside. They want to make the software that companies use to control their drones.
Now, remember: we’re talking about commercial drones, here, not military drones. The drones that the valley has a budding interest in are the type that might, say, scan our gas infrastructure for leaks, deliver your lunch, or search for stranded skiers in the Alps — not the kind that shoot you from 1,000 feet above. DroneDeploy, for example, is already working with teams scanning for pirates off the coast of Sierra Leone, and delivering medical supplies in West Africa. As we’ve discussed in-depth before, drones are not inherently evil.