DroneBase Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

DroneBase Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

You don’t want to own a drone. Or learn to fly a drone. Or hire someone full-time to fly a drone. And you definitely don’t want to pay for a helicopter, plane or satellite. You just want some aerial photos or videos of your work site, real estate or infrastructure. Now, thanks to DroneBase, you can get the benefits of unmanned aerial vehicles without the hassle.

DroneBase lets you commission a drone and its pilot for commercial jobs. You just submit your request online, DroneBase finds someone who can do the gig, they come fly and send you the media and data needed. The DroneBase marketplace is now open for business in Los Angeles with plans to expand.

DroneBase has the potential to both disrupt old ways of getting aerial imagery or doing heavy industry inspections, but also open up options to businesses that couldn’t afford it. Now after graduating from Y Combinator, DroneBase has raised a seed round led by Union Square Ventures and joined by SV Angel, Rothenberg Ventures, and Launchpad LA.

From Military To Everybody

“I was a marine infantry officer,” DroneBase co-founder Dan Burton tells me. “When we’d go on patrol in Iraq, we’d have air cover from a pair of F16s.” While those fast-flying jets might be great at shooting down other fighter planes, Burton says “You’d want to know what was behind the wall 20 feet away and they couldn’t always solve that problem.” But drones could, and he soon realized they’d have plenty more uses back in the civilian world.

After his tour, Burton came to California and learned about the budding commercial UAV business. “I was driving around with five drones in the back of my truck” doing jobs shooting photos and videos for construction companies, mines, real estate agents, and more. “They didn’t want to own drones. Ones that bought them would often get frustrated because six months later ones would come out at half the price, and they had to hire employees to fly them. They just wanted the output,” Burton said.

Meanwhile, he grew closer to the community of drone hobbyists turned part-time professionals. They wished they could make a living as drone pilots, but many struggled with the sales, marketing, and payment aspects of their business.