Drone Industry Insights (DRONEII) has been the leading source for independent drone market intelligence since 2015. At Amsterdam Drone Week, DRONELIFE caught up with co-founder Kay Wackwitz to discuss 3 observations he’s made about the 2022 drone industry.
Investments are Up – By a Lot
As the DRONEII infographic above shows, almost $7 billion went into drone and passenger drone industry by 2020. That trend continues in the 2022 drone industry – the investment appetite is so strong that DRONEII has started a matchmaking service between drone companies and investors to meet the demand.
Wackwitz says that there are several reasons why investment has continued to grow. “People saw an opportunity in the pandemic,” says Wackwitz. “The concept of remote work quickly became a reality: we got transformed by something bigger than the plans of a CEO, and we had to adapt to keep working. Investors see an opportunity to capitalize on this.”
Additionally, says Wackwitz, the industry has matured enough to attract new interest. “People trust the technology now,” Wackwitz says. “The hype is gone but the trust is real – people don’t see drones as a toy anymore, but as a real tool.”
In another sign of a maturing industry, “The long-awaited consolidation is picking up pace,” says Wackwitz. “We saw more 41 mergers and acquisitions last year.”
In addition to the volume of deals going up, Wackwitz says he’s seeing bigger corporate enterprises interested in participating. “Very large corporates have a big interest in the drone industry,” he says. “And there’s a lot of diversity – the interest comes from a great variety of industries.”
Part of the reason for this interest is that the 2022 drone industry represents a great entry point for investors. “The drone industry is still emerging – but you can’t ignore it any longer.”
Regulation continues to be a hot topic – and in the case of BVLOS flight, Wackwitz calls it a road block. “There are a lot of use cases purely in the BVLOS category,” he says. “Everyone is waiting for EASA and the FAA to release these rules… but the standards are missing.”
“Automation is not the hurdle anymore – the automated workflow is sorted,” he says. “Now we’re looking for opportunities to put this into action. ”
Despite the pace of regulation, Wackwitz give one more research-backed observation about the 2022 drone industry.
“People are very positive about what’s happening next year,” indicating a graph showing industry sentiment research. “In 2020 we had a reality check, where people’s expectations and reality converged. Now we’re seeing much more optimism… people are getting contracts, selling units, and doing business.”
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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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