Sky-Futures, a provider of drone inspection services for the oil and gas industry, has raised £2.5 million from award-winning venture capital fund, MMC Ventures.
The Series A investment – the largest ever into drone technology in Europe – comes after a year of significant expansion for the business, growing by 700% in FY2014. This investment will enable Sky-Futures to continue its rapid growth and continue building out its integrated technology inspection platform.
Founded in 2009, Sky-Futures is the world leader in oil and gas drone inspections, working with more than 30 of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world including Apache, BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Statoil. The drones collect high definition video, stills and thermal imagery data, which is analysed in a proprietary data platform and delivered to the client as a technical report written by highly qualified, in-house global industry experts. Sky-Futures now 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, having been one of the first companies to receive FAA regulatory approval to operate in the US.
This investment follows two significant seed rounds, which included prominent angel investors Nick Robertson (CEO of ASOS) and Jon Kamaluddin (former International Director of ASOS).
James Harrison, co-founder and CEO of Sky-Futures, said: “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.”
Simon Menashy, Investment Director at MMC Ventures, said: “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.”
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley