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Drone OS Developer Airware Launches New Fund For Commercial Drones

The Commercial Drone Fund is the second drone-focused fund announced today.

Drone OS Developer Airware Launches New Fund For Commercial Drones

If you’re an entrepreneur thinking about building tools for drones, there may never have been a better time than now.

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Today, the drone operating system company Airware announced it launched a new venture fund aimed at investing in early-stage startups that are “developing technologies critical to scaling the use of drones across a variety of commercial applications.”

Known as the Commercial Drone Fund, Airware said it will make between $250,000 and $1 million available to early-stage companies focusing on five areas: “sensor hardware, software applications, cloud-based aerial data analysis tools, drone-based services, and complete solutions for specific industries.”

Until today there had never been a drone-specific fund like this, but this morning, DJI — the world’s largest maker of consumer drones — announced that it had teamed with Accel Partners on SkyFund. That initiative will make at least $10 million available to early-stage companies focused on developing tools for the DJI platform. Those investments would start at $250,000 and potentially go higher.

Airware, which builds control system software for a variety of commercial drones, and which is aimed largely at the enterprise market, will run its fund autonomously. The company’s CEO, Jonathan Downey, will serve as the fund’s general partner.

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications.

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