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Investment and fundraising in drone technology

Category: Insight

Drones and unmanned aircraft were once figments of science fiction and spy movies. Now, they have become a reality. Recently, these vehicles have become ingrained into many aspects of our daily lives. Investment and fundraising activities in drone technology have never been more popular. From military applications to delivery systems to agricultural surveying, it seems like everyone is adopting drones. 

Over the last decade, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sector has been flooded with venture capital funding. Different industries are recognising the utility of drones in generating efficiencies and savings in previously unexplored places.

WHo is investing?

Sustainability-focused groups like At One Ventures have recognised the potential in UAVs alongside traditional venture capital groups such as Seraphim Capital and Octopus Ventures.  

Venture capital groups and angel syndicates are not the only institutions seeking to capitalise on innovation in drones. The UK government put out a call to action, alongside a $1.9 billion funding pot, for the development of technologies capable of countering Unmanned Air Systems (c-UAS). 

We analysed data from Marktomarket to identify some of the most active investors, biggest fundraisers and the hottest startups in the drone space.  We specifically look at the players solving problems in the agriculture, defence and infrastructure markets.  


UAVs are paving the way for a new era of agriculture, using digitisation and remote mapping to save farmers time and money.

Drones are used in agriculture and farming for scanning and mapping fields, identifying disease and allowing farmers to make informed decisions.

Drones are being used to scan and monitor fields.


Using the increased field of vision provided by a birds-eye view, Hummingbird Technologies creates maps for farmers to forecast crop stress, pinpoint disease and predict yield. The data analytics and insights provided by this surveying give farmers the data to improve and increase production sustainably. 

In May 2019, Hummingbird raised £8.25m at a £17.2 million pre-money valuation.  Investors included BASF, Telus, Salic and Downing Ventures. 

View deal here.

Field Margin 

Creating digital maps of their land and stock, Fieldmargin helps farmers plan crop rotations, while remote monitoring and insights improve workflow and record-keeping.

Field Margin raised £0.3 million at a £7.6 million pre-money valuation in November 2021. 

View deal here

Dendra Systems

Biodiversity is big news. Dendra Systems offers ecosystem restoration and management, with data analysis and tools to enable timely intervention. Drones are used for remote seeding of hard to access areas, limiting the disturbances caused by human interference. 

The startup completed a £9.5 million capital fundraising round at a £23.5 million pre-money valuation in June 2020.

View deal here

Drone Ag

The UAVs developed by Drone Ag provide automated crop scouting, crop spraying and advanced field mapping.  The company’s imaginatively named “Skippy Scout” automates crop scouting flights, allowing farmers to check for pest, weed and disease levels from their desks. 

In February 2022 Drone AG completed a £0.8 million fundraising round, comprising equity and a grant from Innovate UK, at a pre-money valuation of £4.9 million.

View the deal here

Global Surface Intelligence

By taking data from drone and satellite footage, Global Surface Intelligence (GSI) offers valuable business intelligence for the agriculture industry.  Through analysis of these mapped areas of farmland and forest, GSI can accurately estimate land usage and quality, allowing users to maximise the natural assets available to them.  

Par Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank invested £0.4 million in GSI in June 2019 at a pre-money valuation of £3.9 million.

View the deal here

Defence & Emergency Services

The military was an early adopter of drone technology.  Drones were first deployed by the US military and the CIA to undertake surveillance and conduct targeted attacks.

Drones in the military have been used for surveillance and undertaking surgical strikes on high-value targets.

Drones have numerous military uses

Evolve Dynamics

For military, law enforcement and emergency applications, drones must be stable, sturdy and reliable. Evolve Dynamics has developed long-endurance drones and UAVs for ISTAR applications (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance). These drones are already in use by police and fire services, search and rescue, the MOD and international agencies. 

In March 2020 Bayes (Previously Cass) Entrepreneurship Fund and the FSE Group invested £1.2 million of equity capital. This has allowed Evolve to continue the development of their hardware and ancillary software.

View the deal here


Being able to map large areas and structures is critical for infrastructure projects. Converting real-world spaces into digital landscapes allows surveyors, designers and engineers to manipulate and visualise their projects in 3 dimensions. 

As drones become more common around all areas of business, the skies could soon be filled with UAVs of all shapes and sizes. Companies developing Unified Traffic Management algorithms therefore are aiming to create drone ‘highways’ in the sky, minimising collisions and incidents which could impact the overall safety of the machines or their cargo.

Covid-19 brought the ability to have contactless transactions to the forefront of people’s minds. Drones are being used to facilitate this. From Amazon’s high-profile attempts at developing delivery drones to using robotics for contactless interactions, the AI and algorithms required are becoming more in demand than ever. 

One day the skies may be full of drones. Algorithms for the monitoring these highways are needed.

Drones are becoming commonplace in city skies


Working with large global infrastructure projects, Sensat provides drone and AI mapping. This technology allows engineers and project managers to make informed decisions based on the best possible intelligence. These developments could bring about the mass digitisation of offline industries.

In October 2019 Sensat completed a £7 million raise at a £17 million pre-money valuation.  Investors included Tencent and Sistema Venture Capital. 

View the deal here

Altitude Angel 

Ensuring your company’s drones, or those delivering your products, are able to safely navigate the skies takes a lot of development. Altitude Angel is known as a frontrunner in the Unified Traffic Management space.

The company raised £5.3 million at a £10 million pre-money valuation in 2020.  The lead investors were Octopus Ventures and Seraphim Capital. 

View the deal here


The world is increasingly reliant on robotics. AI is everywhere. SLAMcore develops algorithms for drones and augmented reality/virtual reality to support the ‘new normal’ emerging in a post-pandemic world. Having increased options for contactless interactions and transactions makes SLAMcore’s perception and mapping algorithms attractive for growing remote digital businesses.  

In June 2020 Octopus Ventures, MMC Ventures, Amadeus Capital and Toyota AI Ventures invested a total of £4 million in SLAMCore at a pre-money valuation of £13 million.

View the deal here

All deal data has been compiled from MarktoMarket.  Sign up to MarktoMarket’s database to view company and transaction data and see the latest deal opportunities on our Marketplace.


MarktoMarket is a data platform and marketplace for the private capital markets.

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