- Drone technology provider PrecisionHawk Inc. last week purchased Uplift Data Partners for an undisclosed amount, marking its fifth acquisition of a drone company this year.
- Uplift offers drone-based turnkey inspection services for construction, BIM and real estate. Its collection of operators of unmanned aerial vehicles will join PrecisionHawk’s Droners.io network, which is comprised of more than 15,000 contract-based drone pilots. Uplift's CEO, Suzanne El-Moursi, will manage the construction business as part of PrecisionHawk’s executive leadership team.
- Terms of the deal also dictate that Upift's parent company — architecture, engineering, design-build and construction giant Clayco — will exclusively use PrecisionHawk for the drone needs of its construction projects and will hold a seat on the latter firm's board of advisors.
The deal is the latest in PrecisionHawk's string of mergers and absorptions following a $75 million funding round in January, according to VentureBeat. The cash infusion enabled it to purchase Droners and AirVid in February to build its network of licensed pilots and in September to buy Hazon and InspecTools, which specialize in the delivery of inspection services and technology for the utility and renewable energy industries, respectively.
Last year, PrecisionHawk and McCarthy Building Cos. teamed to develop custom software that uses drone-captured data to analyze construction activity. McCarthy has posited that drones are a “no brainer” to use on any jobsite where it makes sense and, with 51% of respondents in a Skyward-sponsored survey indicating their firms were “eager and excited” to start using drones, use of the technology is set to grow.
As more construction firms understand the benefits of using drones, including the ability to capture information, be more efficient and save time, some are turning to services like the ones that PrecisionHawk and Uplift offer. Outsourcing drone navigation, for one, lets companies protect themselves, especially in the face of increasing regulation from the Federal Aviation Administration.
FAA and representatives from the private industry collaborated in the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) measures to support drone integration in airspace and reduce drone flight authorization waiting times. In nearly real time, 14 drone industry companies can request and receive airport authorizations from the FAA through the LAANC initiative. This eliminates the requirement that drone operators go through a 90-day process to receive a certificate of authorization in order to use a drone within FAA-controlled airspace.