PrecisionHawk Inc. has acquired Chicago-based Uplift Data Partners to further expand its footprint into the construction marketplace for commercial drone operations.
Uplift specializes in the delivery of turnkey inspection services for construction, building information management and real-estate by providing drone services for national and global brands. The company’s nationwide network of commercially-trained drone pilots will join PrecisionHawk’s Droners.io network of more than 15,000 drone pilots. Suzanne El-Moursi, Uplift CEO, will join PrecisionHawk’s executive leadership team managing the company’s construction line of business.
Michael Chasen, PrecisionHawk CEO, told UAS Magazine that the areas in which the most money is being spent on drone technology is in agriculture, energy and construction. In September, the company acquired HAZON Solutions LLC and InspecTools Inc. to strengthen its position in the energy space. Uplift is PrecisionHawk’s fifth acquisition of 2018.
“We’re going to continue to go deep into those areas,” he said of the company’s plans. “Certainly, we’re looking at other acquisitions, probably primarily in those areas as opposed to looking at other verticals. I believe you have to have a strategy focused on internal growth and—simultaneously—always be looking at M&A (mergers and acquisitions) to really ramp up and take advantage of the market opportunities in front of you.”
Uplift Data Partners was formed in 2015 as a fully integrated subsidiary of Clayco, a national architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm with more than $2 billion in annual revenue. Through the acquisition, Clayco will exclusively source its construction projects to PrecisionHawk, and will serve on PrecisionHawk’s board of advisors to support the growth of the company’s services and software in the construction industry.
“UAS makes a lot of sense for what the construction industry is doing,” Chasen said. “When you’re flying a drone, it’s not just about getting imagery, it’s also about converting the imagery back to a 3D model and comparing it to your original construction plan. Utilizing drone technology during construction makes a lot of sense. They can track against their own project plan. They can check progress. They can use it to measure materials.”
PrecisionHawk’s success in raising more than $100 million in venture capital from companies such as Intel, Comcast, DuPont, Verizon and others has enabled its expansion into markets of opportunity.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” Chasen said. “We’re perceived as one of the leaders—if not the leader—in the commercial drone space. We were able to raise a good amount of capital from great investors. With that, we’ve not only capital, but great people on our board and good partnerships.”
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