Recently, Measure announced its partnership with AES, a Fortune 200 global power company. Over the next year, AES and Measure will deploy drones at a scale unprecedented in the energy and drone industries, flying in seventeen countries with an estimated reduction of more than 30,000 hazardous work hours annually. Jesse Stepler, Measure’s COO, and Zac Penix, AES’ Director of Drone & Robotic Solutions, are here to share the details of this groundbreaking partnership and what it means for the future of drones in the energy space.
While drone manufacturers have begun to struggle with the challenges of commoditization, Measure’s Drone as a Service® model has been flourishing. The service operator capped off a successful 2016 by closing a $15 million Series B funding round. Fortune 500 IT firm Cognizant led the raise, along with Measure’s early investors and a number of new strategic partners. The investment is indicative of something Measure has understood from day one: services are at the core of the commercial drone industry. With dozens of software options and hundreds of different drones, customers need vendors with the reach and expertise to deliver the data they need quickly and cost-effectively. With this new infusion of cash, Measure is augmenting its data capabilities, growing its fleet, and ramping up operations nationwide.
Measure closed out 2016 on a high note, flying for customers in multiple industries across the United States. We’ve seen customers move past the proof-of-concept phase and begin integrating drones into their workflows and seeing ROI. We’ve expanded operations within verticals and to new verticals, demonstrated a compelling need for drone services, and continued to fight for responsible regulations that will encourage the growth of what is sure to be a critical industry in the United States.
As with any emerging technology, the American drone industry is full of visionaries and dreamers, awake to the promise of what the technology could mean for them, their respective businesses, and the nation’s economic dynamism. These individuals don’t envision a world where drones merely capture video; but one where they can also livestream breaking news straight to the newsroom. Drones won’t simply perform telecommunication inspections, but will swarm to beam internet from up high. Drones won’t only deliver pizza, but deliver pizza of their own volition, with no operator in sight. While this type of innovation is on the horizon, it has not yet fully arrived. For emerging technologies such as drones, it’s dangerous to present what is beyond the realm of current reality as possible; unrealistic expectations will inevitably result in underperformance, which will result in loss of confidence in a promising industry.
Careful determination is required when deciding to become a new franchisee. Measure’s VP of Franchising, Dan Rothfeld, has helped thousands of franchisees on this journey over the last 30 years. From his experience, Dan has refined the decision-making process for franchise investment into a number of unique decision points, including autonomy, peer support, financing, culture, and fit. In this segment of our franchising blog post series, we’ll cover one of these crucial decision points: can a franchise business model succeed in the commercial drone services industry?