An Airtasker-style platform that links drone pilots with potential clients has secured a $1.5 million investment from a private equity firm.
Sydney-based Aerologix only launched 18 months ago but has already secured 300 pilots and expects strong growth due to COVID redundancies in the aviation industry.
Co-founder Tom Caska said he’s already been approached by former staff from Qantas, Jetstar and airlines in the Middle East.
“These pilots have all these skills and all they have to do is complete a half-day course to become a drone pilot,” Caska told the AFR. “It’s a double-sided marketplace where we’re matching supply and demand and that’s the biggest challenge. There are so many industries recognising that they need to use drones and that they’re not just a nice toy, but something that affects the bottom line.”
Investors Nightingale Partners said the group had been investigating the drone space for years.
“I liked the blend of expertise between the two [founders] and that both had already had a go at the drone space and not quite made it, which is the first step on the road to success in my opinion,” said managing director Lindsay Phillips. “From a business point of view, it was also scalable. It’s like the Uber of drones.”
The business evolved as a mix between Caska’s previous drone photography business Aerolens and second founder Rakesh Routhu’s firm that used tech to allow multiple drones to fly over a network with just a single pilot.
The expansion comes as the drone sector begins to rapidly expand in Australia. In September last year, for instance, Australian Aviation reported how Google’s drone delivery service, Wing, will add new locations after successful trials in Canberra and Logan, Queensland.
The business’ head of policy and government affairs, Margaret Nagle, revealed orders have soared 500 per cent because of COVID-19 as customers seek to obtain goods in a contactless way.
Wing first launched in Canberra in 2019 and currently allows for the delivery of packages that weigh less than 1.5 kilograms from a variety of retailers who sell household goods.