Drone technologies company Airware has secured a strategic investment from Caterpillar Ventures, an investment arm of Caterpillar Inc.
The investment will enable Airware to accelerate programs that enable Caterpillar dealers to offer drone solutions and services within the construction, mining, and quarrying industries, and highlights Caterpillar’s commitment in leading the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the companies said.
“This investment is a continuation of Caterpillar’s commitment to help our customers be more productive and make improved business decisions,” said George Taylor, Caterpillar chief marketing officer & vice president of the Marketing and Digital Division. “In collaboration with Airware, we are better positioned to offer drone services through industry-leading technology that helps digitize and optimize operations.”
In September of 2016, Airware acquired Redbird, a drone analytics pioneer, to bring to market commercial drone solution for mining and aggregates.
“Commercial drone technology is becoming a necessity for construction, mining and quarrying organizations looking to increase overall productivity while cutting costs,” said Jonathan Downey, founder & CEO of Airware. “Airware provides customers the combined power of an enterprise-focused workflow and industry-specific data analytics with the compliance and security features needed to scale drone operations.”
Caterpillar dealers will be able to offer their customers drone services and analytics, including a core set of photogrammetry, mapping, and volumetrics tools, and a suite of advanced analysis and reporting modules. Caterpillar dealer Bergerat Monnoyeur to be among the first dealers.
Greg Arranz, general manager, SITECH at Bergerat Monnoyeur added: “We are committed to bringing cutting-edge technology and world-class services to our customers. Airware is an established leader in putting drones to work for mining, construction, and quarrying. They understand the needs of our customers, what it takes to scale operations, and the importance of offering industry-specific analytics to drive better decision making. We’re proud to bring Airware to our customers.”
Founded in 2011, Airware said its set of technologies enables enterprises to plan, fly, and analyze aerial data to drive business outcomes including operational cost savings, enhanced worker safety, and improved decision making. Airware has raised more than $90 million to date from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, GE Ventures, Google Ventures, Intel Capital, John Chambers, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Next World Capital. Airware is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Paris, France.
Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc. (Caterpillar Ventures) is designed to assist entrepreneurs around the world to grow and scale their businesses by leveraging Caterpillar’s industry expertise, supply base and independent dealer network. Caterpillar Ventures’ focus areas of investment include robotics, energy, advanced materials, and digital solutions that help our customers be successful. Caterpillar Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc.