Home Drone PrecisionHawk, as soon as a drone large, declares chapter

PrecisionHawk, as soon as a drone large, declares chapter

PrecisionHawk, as soon as a drone large, declares chapter


PrecisionHawk, which at one level was one of many largest drone business giants is not any extra. The corporate, recognized for utilizing drones to seize agricultural knowledge, filed for Chapter 7 chapter in mid-December 2023. Versus a Chapter 11 chapter, Chapter 7 chapter means PrecisionHawk will stop operations. The corporate can even shut down its headquarters in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

“The corporate didn’t have adequate capital to take care of operations,” Jason Hendren instructed the Information & Observer, a newspaper serving the Raleigh, North Carolina space. Hendren is a chapter lawyer in Raleigh who’s representing PrecisionHawk

In line with its chapter filings, the corporate owes $242,667 in unpaid hire on its headquarters. That debt is simply a tiny fraction of the $17.5 million value of debt it holds, in accordance with its chapter submitting. The corporate has simply round $3.8 million in belongings, which a court-appointed trustee will probably be accountable for utilizing to pay collectors. Although, unsecured collectors ought to anticipate to get nothing out of the submitting,

A lot of the firm’s staff have posted “Open to Work” badges on their LinkedIn profiles.

Picture courtesy of PrecisionHawk

A historical past of PrecisionHawk

It’s been a tumultuous 12 months for the corporate, which at one level was among the many darlings of the drone business. Based in 2010, it touted purchasers together with 5 of the highest 10 utility corporations, the biggest supplier of communications infrastructure in america, and the “Massive Six” suppliers of seed and agricultural chemical compounds.

Via its historical past. PrecisionHawk made some pivots to its enterprise mannequin. It initially leaned into being a drone producer, earlier than later specializing in drones for distant sensing purposes and knowledge processing. It targeted on enterprise use instances comparable to agriculture, power, photo voltaic, oil & gasoline, and telecom.

And it had scored some robust wins, notably when DJI introduced it could drop PrecisionHawk-competitor AirMap and change it with PrecisionHawk as its new supplier of airspace knowledge in North America. With that 2018 change, PrecisionHawk turned the geofencing know-how supplier behind DJI’s drones. Drone geofencing is a know-how pioneered by DJI that creates a digital “fence” round areas the place it doesn’t need its drones flying, comparable to close to airports.

It additionally had important authorities affect. For instance, then-CEO Michael Chasen served because the Chairman for the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC).

Throughout its Collection A by way of E funding rounds, PrecisionHawk raised greater than $136 million. That included $10 million from Intel Capital in it collection B, and a hefty $32 million collection E in 2019. The 12 months prior, it raised a good larger $75 million.

However particularly previously 12 months, it’s change into clear that PrecisionHawk was having bother. Most of that new got here to gentle shortly after Norway-based UAV inspection and mapping firm Discipline acquired PrecisionHawk in March 2023.

On the time, Discipline noticed the PrecisionHawk acquisition as a chance to develop to the U.S. market. Discipline said that it could use PrecisionHawk’s synthetic intelligence and drone know-how firm for infrastructure administration with its purchasers, which included a number of Fortune 500 corporations. In a March 2023 press launch sharing information of the acquisition, the corporate said that PrecisionHawk would preserve its Raleigh headquarters and function beneath the Discipline model by the top of the 12 months.

As a substitute, Discipline introduced in October 2023 that it could shut the PrecisionHawk workplace in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“We knew it could be a problem to make PrecisionHawk worthwhile within the brief time period,” mentioned Krister A. Pedersen, who stepped in as interim CEO of Discipline in September 2023 after former CEO Cato Vevatne stepped down. “Regardless of our greatest efforts, we couldn’t flip it round in time, and we have now needed to shut the workplace.”

Discipline’s Explorer UAV. (Picture courtesy of Discipline)

What’s subsequent for PrecisionHawk and what’s going to fill its void?

As for what’s subsequent for PrecisionHawk, the Assembly of Collectors is about for Jan. 24, 2024. Discipline Group, which acquired PrecisionHawk, in itself will probably be beginning considerably anew in 2024. That features new possession after being acquired by present shareholders.

Whereas sure buyers will purchase Discipline Group’s conventional enterprise, former Discipline Board Chair Arild Austigard and companions are set to amass Discipline Group’s drone exercise. With that main change comes a full refinancing of the enterprise in a brand new firm construction.

Discipline’s UAV division will proceed engaged on unmanned know-how and inspection providers. Although, they’ll function beneath a brand new entity and a brand new model.

“I’m happy that we have now discovered an answer for Discipline Group the place we will take over the possession of the drone actions within the firm,” Austigard mentioned in a ready assertion. “Using drones is a part of the longer term answer that each ensures environment friendly options and the environmental challenges we face, and the workers in Discipline Group working within the drone enterprise have what it takes to reach the longer term.”

So far as what different corporations would possibly fill the void set by the top of PrecisionHawk? Different corporations that supply comparable providers to PrecisionHawk embody San Francisco-based DroneDeploy, which builds software program to automate flight and knowledge seize. With DroneDeploy, customers generate interactive maps, orthomosaics and 3D fashions.


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