Venture capital fund MMC Ventures has invested $3.8 million in drone inspection provider Sky Futures.
The development marks the largest-ever investment into drone technology in Europe, and Sky Futures said it will allow it to continue its rapid growth within the unmanned oil and gas inspection sector. Founded in 2009, Sky-Futures works with more than 30 oil and gas companies around the world including Apache, BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Statoil.
Sky-Futures' drones collect high definition video, stills and thermal imagery data, which is analyzed in a proprietary data platform and delivered to clients as a technical report. The London-headquartered business currently delivers drone inspection services in the North Sea, the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa, and has recently opened an office in Houston, Texas to serve clients in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sky Futures co-founder and CEO James Harrison said in a company statement:
"We have experienced a fantastic level of growth in the past year, expanding our global reach and further establishing ourselves as the world leaders in oil and gas drone inspection. We recently received the permit to use our drones in United States National Air Space, an incredibly significant development, allowing us to further expand our international operations footprint.
"Today's funding announcement marks the next stage for Sky Futures, and we are looking forward to working with the MMC Ventures team as we further develop our technology-driven commercial drone services."
MMC Ventures praised Sky Futures on its innovative use of drone technology.
“Drone technology is an exciting area of innovation, but it’s only now that we are seeing leading commercial operators emerge. Sky Futures' use of drone technology in the oil and gas market is world-leading and changes the game for platform operators in terms of cost, safety and depth of data analysis. We're excited to work with an exceptional trio of founders in James, Chris and Nick, and look forward to helping the team to take the business to the next level of global scale," MMC Ventures Investment Director Simon Menashy said in a statement from the organization.
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