Sky-Futures raises $3.89M to enhance drone inspections in O&G industry

Sky-Futures, a provider of drone inspection services for the oil and gas industry, has raised £2.5m ($3,89) from venture capital fund, MMC Ventures.

This investment will enable Sky-Futures to continue its growth and continue building out its integrated technology inspection platform.

Sky-Futures, was set up in 2009 by ex-British army drone pilots James Harrison and Chris Blackford. The company now operates a fleet of drones which locate and highlight potential safety issues in large oil and gas infrastructures – a process currently performed by individuals dropped from helicopters on ropes. According to the press release from MMC, Sky-Futures has been working with more than 30 of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, including Apache, BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Statoil.

Explaining the way drones work, MMC said that the drones collect high definition video, stills and thermal imagery data, which is analysed in a proprietary data platform and delivered to the client as a technical report. Each part of this process is overseen by Sky-Futures’ highly qualified, in-house team of global industry experts in flare systems and structural engineering.

MCC said in the press release that this investment followed two significant seed rounds, which included investors Nick Robertson (CEO of ASOS) and Jon Kamaluddin (former International Director of ASOS).

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.”

Simon Menashy, Investment Director at MMC Ventures, said: “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. We’re excited to work with an exceptional trio of founders in James, Chris and Nick, and look forward to helping the team to take the business to the next level of global scale.”

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