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Document 2021 drone funding almost triples 2020’s record-breaking determine


2021 was a record-breaking 12 months for the drone trade, and it follows a historical past of data being damaged when it comes to drone trade funding yearly since 2013. But maybe what’s most spectacular concerning the 2021 drone funding figures: they almost tripled the funding {dollars} that got here out of an already record-breaking 2020.

That’s in line with the annual Drone Investments Database German-based drone analytics and analysis group Drone Business Insights.

Their information tracked 199 funding offers involving a drone firm in 2021, amounting to almost $7 billion in mixed worth. In distinction, 2020 noticed a then-record of $2.4 billion in drone funding offers. By these metrics, not solely did 2021 drone funding offers break data, however they almost tripled them.

What’s maybe much more wild is that 2019 was additionally a document 12 months for drone investments. In the meantime, 2020 nearly doubled 2019’s document of about $1.2 billion in funding funding.

Be aware that DII’s definition of a drone firm is considerably free, and principally encompasses any firm that builds drones or drone-adjacent merchandise in some capability. However nonetheless, drone trade funding is hovering.

2021 drone investment record
Picture courtesy of Drone Business Insights

Which drone corporations acquired probably the most 2021 drone funding?

Many of the 2021 drone funding {dollars} went to {hardware}. {Hardware}-focused drone corporations took in a mixed $5 billion in investor {dollars}, which is double final 12 months’s determine.

Drone service corporations acquired $1 billion in 2021, an enormous improve from the $160 million they introduced in 2020.

Software program-focused drone corporations took in $639 million.

Whereas a comparatively small piece of the funding puzzle as UTM corporations took in simply $38 million in 2021 drone funding {dollars}, that’s an almost 3x improve (up from $13 million in 2020).

And what have been the most important particular person corporations raking in income this 12 months?

This uncrewed supply plane from Beta Applied sciences shares its engineering, design, and flight traits with the complete scale plane from nostril to tail. Picture courtesy of Beta.

Beta Applied sciences raised the best amount of cash when it comes to enterprise capital investments in 2021, taking in additional than $511 million over the 12 months. The 300-person, privately held firm headquartered in Burlington, Vermont is creating electrical vertical take off and touchdown plane for the cargo and logistics trade. Whereas they’re additionally constructing passenger plane, the corporate builds autonomous supply plane as properly.

The very best-grossing single Personal Funding in Public Fairness (PIPE) deal belongs to Archer, which took in $857.6 million as a part of its enterprise mixture SPAC cope with Atlas Crest Funding Corp. Archer is a Palo Alto-based firm engaged on sustainable air mobility to move folks round cities through an electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown (eVTOL) plane. In September 2021, Archer closed its enterprise mixture with Atlas, which is a particular function acquisition firm, upon which Atlas modified its title to “Archer Aviation Inc.” Archer trades below the ticker “ACHR.” $600 tens of millions of the proceeds from the $857.6 million PIPE deal will assist fund Archer’s imaginative and prescient of bringing an electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown automobile (eVTOL) to market.

An Archer prototype. Picture courtesy of Archer.

Why have been 2021 drone investments so large?

In some methods, it’s a bit mind-boggling to see that — amidst the COVID-19-related uncertainty of 2020 and 2021 (and the financial challenges that got here with the pandemic) — drone investments proceed to interrupt data.

“The years 2020 and 2021 introduced recessions and uncertainty for numerous industries because of the pandemic, however they’ve additionally supplied an opportunity for buyers to place their cash into the longer term,” in line with an announcement from Drone Business Insights. 

COVID affected drones positive or negative impact on the drone industry
Drone Business Insights

Given the newfound want for social distancing coupled with an ongoing labor scarcity, in some methods the rise of drones is a pure match. COVID-19 largely had a constructive impression on the drone trade, with 52% of respondents in a 2021 survey performed by DII reporting that COVID affected drones for the higher, and 33% saying the pandemic had a negligible impression. In the meantime, solely 15% stated COVID affected the drone trade for the more serious.

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