CIT GAP Funds Invests in DroneUp to Revolutionize Commercial Drone Pilot Services
‘Mission Match™️’ platform tracks pilot certification, experience and guarantees qualified pilots are alerted for matching missions
Herndon, VA – February 8, 2019 – The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today that CIT GAP Funds has invested in Chesapeake, VA based DroneUp, the creator of a patent-pending platform that organizes drone pilots into a network that serves commercial markets, government agencies, and public safety organizations.
There are currently 1.2 million drone pilots in the United States alone, and the FAA estimates that number will increase to 3 million by 2022. In fact, Goldman Sachs recently issued a report stating, “between now and 2020, we forecast a $100 billion market opportunity for drones—helped by growing demand from the commercial and civil government sectors.” Private and public industries are learning how to use drones in their operations; however, buying drones and training pilots is costly and generally outside their expertise. DroneUp maintains a comprehensive network of drone pilots and, through their Mission Match™️ app, locates, qualifies and deploys single pilot or multi-pilot crews according to their client requirements.
“As a proud Virginia company, we are excited and grateful for the support and confidence from CIT GAP Funds,” said Tom Walker, CEO, DroneUp. “Drone services are rapidly becoming invaluable tools for both the public and private sectors. DroneUp is committed to helping those organizations develop effective drone programs and then deploying professional and responsible pilots to ensure the most successful outcomes.”
DroneUp operates a global on-demand drone services fleet, tracking pilot certification, experience and location through its proprietary “always-on” mobile app to guarantee qualified pilots are alerted to matching missions. From the moment a mission alert is launched, pilots and commanders communicate in real time via encrypted channels, ensuring projects and data are always secure. With an operating capacity of over one million simultaneous missions, the DroneUp platform is the only system able to match, mobilize and support drone teams on a global scale.
“There’s a correlation between industry adoption of unmanned systems and rapid availability of pilots and assets to match a unique mission profile,” said Thomas Weithman, Managing Director of CIT GAP Funds and Chief Investment Officer at MACH37. “We’re seeing insurance companies, farmers, real estate developers, government agencies, first responders, and so many others, all beginning to understand the disruptive power sUAS services can provide. We look forward to being part of DroneUp’s mission to match, mobilize, and support drone teams on a global scale.”
CIT GAP Funds, a family of funds placing equity investments in Virginia-based technology, life science, and cleantech companies, has invested in over 200 high-potential, early-stage companies likely to achieve rapid growth and generate significant economic return. Since it’s 2005 formation, CIT GAP Funds has infused an additional $600M+ of private placements onto the balance sheets of portfolio companies. Funds have come from over 900 different investment sources, with 80 percent including out-of-state and blue-chip funding sources from across the U.S. For more information, please visit https://www.cit.org/.
DroneUp matches missions with drone pilots. Our DroneUp Mission Match™️ pilot management platform – locates, qualifies, and deploys single pilot or multi-pilot crews according to our client requirements. We deliver on-demand services to commercial, government, and military organizations and address critical airspace safety oversight. DroneUp is committed to providing a comprehensive network of pilots while maintaining a steadfast commitment to safety and responsible operations. For more information, please visit: https://www.droneup.com/.
About CIT GAP Funds
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.citgapfunds.org.