Accelerating Commercial
Drone Innovation

What is the Commercial Drone Fund?

Commercial drones are shaping and changing many industries around the world and the commercial drone space is rapidly growing, but there are still many challenges to overcome and gaps in the ecosystem to enable drones to be used at scale for jobs that were previously too dangerous, costly or difficult, and applications yet to be imagined. The Commercial Drone Fund was established to support businesses that are developing technologies and services that are critical to scaling the use of commercial drones across a variety of applications.

What types of investments does the Commercial Drone Fund make?

The Commercial Drone Fund invests in businesses seeking financing to help advance their technology and grow business operations. Investment areas include the following:

  • Sensor hardware — Sensor technology that will improve the precision, speed, cost or scale of what is possible with commercial drones.
  • Software applications — Software apps that make operating drones safer or enable new and innovative use cases for commercial drones.
  • Data analytics — Cloud-based software that makes analyzing and utilizing sensor data easier, more accessible, or more actionable.
  • Services — Drone-based services that provide unique business value for enterprises or open up drone use to an entirely new market.
  • Industry-specific solutions — Drone-based integrated solutions that help solve industry-specific challenges.

What are the fund’s selection criteria?

  • Technology — The product or service is differentiated and can help solve complex challenges businesses face when scaling drone use for commercial applications.
  • Team — The leadership has built a team with unique expertise, knowledge and experience to deliver on the promise of their vision.
  • Traction — The company has working prototypes or initial customers using or testing the product or service.

What does the Commercial Drone Fund offer?

The Commercial Drone Fund provides more than just capital. We team with startups to help grow their business. Jonathan Downey, Founder and CEO of Airware, is the General Partner of the Fund and has spent 10 years in the drone space - in academia at MIT, industry at Boeing, and building San Francisco-based commercial drone startup Airware. Portfolio companies have access to a network of innovators, investors and Airware ecosystem partners to build key industry relationships.


Is your company helping propel the commercial drone industry?