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The drone market has heated up considerably since Valor co-lead the Series Seed investment in Aerobo Drones of Brooklyn, New York last year. This year, drone startup investments have crossed a new high water market, with $1.2 billion invested in 2017 so far. (Last year, about the time we invested in Aerobo, there was only about $600 million invested in drone startups.) It’s the first time the UAV industry has crossed a billion dollars of invesment in one year.

Success for drone startups is in increasing automation, according to Aerobo

Catching up privately with founder Brian Streem, he was focused on his vision of making aerial drone imagery more accessible and more available than ever. “While we’re busy scaling and serving customers from our new West Coast office in Los Angeles and our headquarters in Brooklyn, we’re expanding the tech team to deliver more automation,” he shared. Aerobo has had many firsts in the last year, including filming the first virtual reality TV series. Brian was called out this summer by Inc. Magazine as one of the “30 Most Brilliant Founders Under 30.”

Drone startup investments 2017 so far

For a sense of just how diverse and heated the drone market is becoming, here’s a list of some of the recent drone investments this year.

StartupHeadquarters What they doFounded Total Equity Funding Number of Funding Rounds
SafeSkies Systems IncSan Francisco, California, United StatesAutomated safety systems for commercial drones3/1/17$50,000 1
StrayosSaint Louis, Missouri, United States3D Aerial intelligence platform for Mining and Surveying industry3/1/17$350,000 1
CrowdAIMountain View, California, United StatesCrowdAI provides scalable and high-quality image annotation.1/1/16$2,120,000 2
American RoboticsBoston, Massachusetts, United StatesAmerican Robotics is developing a practical drone system for farmers.1/1/16$1,100,000 1
Drone ComplierCorvallis, Oregon, United StatesDrone Complier is a drone compliance and business management software.1/1/161
WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc.San Luis Obispo, California, United StatesWhiteFox specializes in drone defense and security12/14/15$900,000 2
Advanced Aircraft CompanyHampton, Virginia, United StatesAdvanced Aircraft Company is a manufacturer of vertical take off and landing aircrafts.10/2/151
FathomGrand Rapids, Michigan, United StatesFathom is the future of underwater exploration through an affordable, easy to use, underwater drone.4/1/15$120,000 1
EagleEye Intelligence, LLCBoca Raton, Florida, United StatesEagleEye Intelligence provides incident management and aerial platform solutions for public safety and security3/12/15$9,700,000 3
DroneTerminusBoca Raton, Florida, United StatesWe are the last mile solution. Making autonomous drone delivery safer by removing the human intervention element altogether.2/1/151
SkySafeSan Diego, California, United StatesSafely take control of reckless or malicious drones.1/1/15$14,500,000 2
Iris AutomationSan Francisco, California, United StatesIris Automation provides robust collision avoidance systems for industrial drones.1/1/15$2,000,000 3
KittyhawkSan Francisco, California, United StatesReal-Time Drone Operations1/1/15$1,400,000 3
Drone Racing LeagueNew York, New York, United StatesDrone racing is a real future of the sport that combines the best of e-sports Formula 1 and a touch of virtual reality.1/1/15$21,000,000 3
BetterviewSan Francisco, California, United StatesBetterview is the leading platform for drone-based property inspections.12/15/14$3,550,000 4
Avision RoboticsSanta Monica, California, United StatesAVISION is a SaaS solution for startups to enterprise companies utilizing UAVs for commercial purposes.10/1/14$150,000 2
Cape ProductionsRedwood City, California, United StatesCape Productions is a company that offers the ability to control drones that record video from anywhere in the world.6/13/14$10,000,000 2
MeasureWashington, District of Columbia, United StatesMeasure offers Drone as a Serviceå¨.6/1/14$20,500,000 3
SkydioMenlo Park, California, United StatesSkydio drones navigate the world intelligently1/1/14$56,000,000 3
DedroneSan Francisco, California, United StatesDedrone develops drone detection technology with automated, software-based aerial intrusion.1/1/14$27,900,000 3
AirdogPalo Alto, California, United StatesAirDog is a foldable drone, designed for autonomous video shooting in action sports.1/1/14$7,172,917 5
AnimusoftMiami, Florida, United StatesDrone agnostic real time edge computing platform to operate drones, manage fleets of drones, and analyze / integrate actionable .results.1/1/14$1,600,000 4
DroneAiSanta Monica, California, United StatesDrone navigation company solving the most important and complex issue facing drone delivery using patent navigation system and AI1/1/14$2,000,000 2
FlirteyReno, Nevada, United StatesFlirtey is a company that is reinventing the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail, and food delivery industries11/1/13$16,040,876 4
Identified TechnologiesPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United StatesIdentified Technologies offers its industrial customers with a mapping drone solution to increase project visibility and team productivity.7/10/13$3,500,000 4
3D RoboticsBerkeley, California, United States3DR makes advanced drone technology easily accessible to the construction, mining, and surveying industries for use in data analysis.1/1/09$178,775,000 6
SkywaysAustin, Texas, United StatesSkyways builds vertical take-off and landing drones to be used by the military for transporting things without putting people in danger.$1,120,000 2