Airware, one of the most heavily funded ventures of the Silicone Valley has shut down.
Airware is a San Francisco based drone startup that was working on operating systems and is reportedly closing down its operations.
According to a blog post on the company’s website, the company confesses that it can be a complicated affair to call timing of a market transition and this certainly was not a business outcome that they had been striving for, for the past several years.
The story was broken by TechCrunch which published screenshots from the Airware Alumni Slack channel detailing how the staff were informed about the imminent closure of the company.
The news has shocked even the former employees of the firm who have been found to be dumbstruck and deeply stunned.
Airware was once viewed as the drone industry’s beloved child as it raised $118 million through venture capital by giants such as Andressen Horowitz, Google’s GV and Kleiner Perkins.
Numerous business transitions were witnessed by the company which was initially launched in 2011 with an aim to develop autopilot systems. The company then made a move to developing full-fledged drones and subsequently transitioned to a company that offered services as consultants for developing enterprise applications.
The company also launched its own drone investment fund called as the Commercial Drone Fund which claimed to make investments between $250,000 and $1 million in burgeoning startups. The fun eventually invested in three startups according to Crunchbase: Redbird, Cape and Raptor Maps.
The company claims to be a pioneer in visualizing the power drones could have in the commercial sector.
The news may not be that shocking for the others. The company went through a bit of a torrid time while attempting to keep up with other startups in the drone industry. The company was also not present in recent big FAA decisions such as the UAS Pilot Program which preferred other startups such as Airmap and Flirtey or the LAANC program to it. The LAANC program has progressed and included startups such as Airmap, Kittyhawk and Skyward.
The news also depicts the difficulties involved while competing against tech giants such as DJI in the hardware development sector in addition to all the startups and individual consultants in the increasingly crowded space of enterprise consulting operations.
The tech giant DJI are the entrenched market leaders in the drone world and have come up with robust drones that are equipped with thermal cameras, zoom lenses and sophisticated enterprise software. They own no less than 70% of the market share and this is likely to grow farther if companies such as Airware continue to crash under the weight of expectations.
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