Raising Finance

Europe's largest drone investment made as London firm Sky-Futures collects £2.5m

2 min read

11 May 2015

Former deputy editor

Drone company Sky-Futures has secured a £2.5m Series A funding round from venture capital firm MMC Ventures, which marks the largest investment of its kind in Europe.

The newly funded business, which is headquartered in London, specialises in providing inspection drones for the oil and gas industry, and secured the investment after growing its operations by some 700 per cent in 2014.

With the funding, 2009-launched Sky-Futures plans to continue the rapid growth by enhancing the technology involved in its inspection platform, which is used by more than 30 of the largest oil and gas firms globally, including BP and Shell.

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.”

HD video, images and thermal imagery data are collected by the drones, which is then analysed in a data platform that helps team members convert the findings into comprehensive reports for clients.

While the main operation is run out of the capital, Sky-Futures also has offices in Aberdeen, Norway, Malaysia and Houston, which allows it to deliver services across the North Sea, Middle East, Southeast Asia, North Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Simon Menashy, investment director at MMC Ventures, added: “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.”

MMC’s contribution follows seed rounds from ASOS CEO Nick Robertson and former ASOS international director Jon Kamaluddin.