DroneSeed deploys drone swarms to aerially plant trees and other plants as well as cultivate and monitor them. They’ve initially launched the service to help reforest areas devastated by wildfires quickly recover. The team has received FAA clearance to fly lower than normal and carry heavier loads than the current 55 lb weight limit. Services include micro-precision planting of seeds, fertilizer and herbicide spraying as well as progress monitoring.

Current clients include timber companies and national forestry services. They are expanding their services to include commercial growers including vineyards, fruit and nut orchards. DroneSeed heavily modifies and retrofits industrial drone hardware

The team is based in Seattle, Washington.

Why I like Them

I like them because this is a very cool application of technology to helping solve the planet’s environmental issues. They make maintaining and expanding vast areas of fields and forests much more scalable and efficient than the current method of manually planting by hand to cover thousands of acres. The double bottom line here of cost savings for organizations as well as helping the environment in a more scalable manner is great. From a business perspective they have little competition and have already locked up long term government contracts.

The other part of this business I like is its much more defensible than it appears on first pass. Equipment and software needed for this are not off the shelf but are custom built by DroneSeed. The AI algorithms needed for mapping a landscape precisely, determining the best locations for seeds to be dropped, the seed packet mixture deployed, and then having the drones be able to spray the correct amount and type of herbicide for that area is not a trivial task.




Edgybees is an augmented reality startup focused on enterprise augmented reality for fast moving camera systems.  This include cameras on drones, cars, military vehicles, and body cameras.  They've found great initial traction among public safety organizations including fire,  search and rescue, disaster response, police departments, etc. with their product showing great value during the California fires and the Hurricane Irma floods.  Other customers they are engaging with are in media, defense, gaming, and other fields where situational awareness is critical. 

Edgybees software platform is flexible, able to work with any full motion camera hardware with the ability for other developers to build upon it.  Features include mapping, markers, and other data layer overlays with new features being continously added.  The team monetizes by selling software licenses per vehicle pilot, people on the ground, and people in the command center. 

The team is based in Palo Alto, California and Israel and currently has around 20 employees.  

Why I like Them

I like them because to date I believe augmented reality has been overhyped without any real application that solve an actual problem.  Edgybees solves the real world problem of situational awareness for when speed and accuracy are critical and thus has a real business built on solving actual customer pain points.  

This is also an area where there is a ton of demand for a solution like this and few competitors.  With more and more cameras everywhere generating a torrent of data, technology like Edgybees is vital in bringing context and identifying what is critical in real time so decision makers can quickly make the correct decisions.  

I agree with the team that drone technology and augmented reality are still in very early days and I can easily see Edgybees becoming a very large enterprise augmented reality and sensor company.

Disclosure:  I have spoken to members of the team.






SkySafe is a software startup that offers a solution for preventing drones from accessing restricted areas.  It uses radio wave technology to monitor airspace and tag drones as permitted to fly in that area or not.  They are then able to hijack the drone from its pilot and force the drone to land.  Their counter drone technology is of strong interest to the defense and public safety industries. 

Details on the actual technology itself are currently under wraps.  However, industry experts' best guess is that SkySafe hijacks the drone's radio communication channels and trick the drone into thinking SkySafe's control software is actually the pilot.  This is basically a physical version of the man in the middle style attack with SkySafe's antenna's being physically closer to the drone then the drone's pilot's transmitter and so able to overwhelm their signal.

The team is based in San Diego, California.

Why I like Them

I have often wondered as drones become more prevalent (~4M drones are expected to be sold this year), how agencies and law enforcement will control them - SkySafe has an answer.  As drones are used more frequently in every day life and become more common for tasks like package delivery, law enforcement needs an easy and safe way to control and restrict them.  This type of technology is especially needed as recently the first drone collision with a commercial airplane occurred in Canada.  Although extremely early stage, SkySafe is innovating to fulfill an unmet need in the market - and a need that will grow extremely rapidly in the coming years.  Once they prove out and test the technology commercially it is easy to see them being acquired by a large defense or cybersecurity company.

Disclosure:  All information is from publicly available sources, I have not had any contact with a member of the company or its investors.


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Measure is a startup that offers drones as a service to corporate customers in the Energy, Telecommunications, AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) and Media industries.  They focus on developing full drone solutions to improve processes at these companies and then sending their own pilots out to the field to perform these services for their clients.  Some examples include capturing live shots for media companies or doing infrastructure inspection. 

Measure does not build it own drones but instead buys them off the shelf and incorporates them with their backend systems and processes.  They are technology agnostic and will use the most optimal products on the market for client's use cases.  Especially unique from a startup perspective is that Measure has a franchise business model to help it quickly cover wide swathes of the country.  

The company is headquartered in Washington D.C and currently has under 100 full time employees.

Why I like Them

I have never quite run across a business model like theirs and I really like the innovation here.  Measure is taking a well established business model of the franchise and combining it with a rapidly advancing technology in drones.  Most startups achieve scalability via software but in this case to scale they need more pilots in the field covering more territory.  The company recognized this and realized in the green field that is drones as a service the fastest way to expand would be to franchise since it requires minimal capital investment.  The drone industry as a whole and demand for its services will continue to grow rapidly (currently globally drones are a $100B+ industry) especially as more autonomy in units is developed and regulations broadened.  Especially huge is what the industry calls BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) which will allow much faster scaling when regulations allows it commercially.  Measure is at the forefront of these trends and posed to benefit as they take off.

I further like that the company knows who its customers are - it is focused on 4 industries and targets small and medium sized businesses for its services.

Disclosure:  I have spoken to members of the team.



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Slantrange is a big data and analytics company focused on the agriculture sector that describes itself as an agricultural intelligence company.  They offer a SaaS analytical product for agriculture and advanced multi-spectral sensor systems meant to be mounted on drones.  Applications of their systems include detecting crop infections, vegetation stress, automatic crop counts, etc. 

Slantrange products are mostly sold to drone services companies who are then contracted by farmers for data analysis of their fields.  They make revenue through their SaaS software subscriptions and through selling the hardware sensors.

The team is based in San Diego, California and currently has approximately a dozen employees.

Why I like Them

There is a large opportunity ahead in digitizing agriculture and Slantrange is the premium provider of data analytics for the industry with best in class sensors.  Satellite systems cannot provide the resolution or yield of information on crop fields that drone based sensors systems do.  Slantrange takes advantage of this much richer data set using advanced data mining and analytics to offer detailed, actionable insights to farmers.  I like that the team's focus is on continuously extracting higher value data from sensor systems that no other offering can match.

Even with such a small team they already have a huge amount of traction selling in 20+ countries via 15+ distributors.  They also have a large amount of intellectual property around technology.

Disclosure:  I have spoken to members of the executive team.