Brian Streem, CEO and co-founder at Aerobo, cold emailed Valor VC —
Hi Lisa, I am the CEO of a drone service company called Aerobo, located in NYC. We are focused on building the largest drone service company in the world. We have proprietary technology as well as a large network of drone pilots across the country.
Not long after, I flew out to meet his team and see Aerobo’s aerial cinematography lab and sales operation in Brooklyn. I saw that unlike many other drone-centric startups–which focus either on flight execution or data–Aerobo’s founders earned a unique perspective in film school and in winning film awards. They care about what it takes to get a beautiful shot. Serving producers with inspiring visions is their breath and soul, and they are one of the few customer-focused B2B entertainment technology companies in the world.
Brian learned first hand as an award-winning video producer himself that the pursuit of the perfect shot is a real pain. He founded Aerobo and their suite of aerial cinematography production solutions to solve the problem. Early raving fan customers we interviewed like producer John Albanis and NBC News sang the praises that Aerobo was not just another drone services provider, but a complete solution for serious directors.
ValorVC co-led Aerobo’s first round alongside SeedInvest.
Aerobo was featured in Inc. Magazine shortly after our investment. Trends show multiple streams of revenues, most growing double digits, are ready to reward innovators like Aerobo that can make digital content creation simpler for producers.
Video content is fast becoming a crown jewel for global tech leaders, including Apple (a billion in the budget for new video content) and Amazon Prime Video.
- There are currently just over 100 subscription-based streaming video content companies in the U.S. alone.
- The entertainment/media sector is forecast to grow by more than 20% through 2021, to $2.2 trillion.
- Digital video ad spending is projected to hit $50 billion in the United States by 2021.
- The global box office passed $40 billion for the first time in 2017.
Aerobo aerial cinematography tech supports the global video content arms race.
For The Fate and the Furious, Aerobo filmed some of the longest drone sequences of high-speed car chases and dozen-car pile-ups down the narrow streets of Cleveland. For a marketing activation for Oreo, Aerobo custom-engineered rigs for their drones to pull off the largest Oreo Dunks in the world. And recently, for The Greatest Showman, Aerobo engineered a rig and pulled off one of the first drone catches in Hollywood. Search IMDB the many kinds of incredible content Aerobo anchors. Collectively, the company’s body of work has grown to over 500 projects across 35 states and 3 countries with every major film studio including HBO, Netflix, NFL, Marvel, Showtime, Google, and Sony. Some of their recent high-profile projects include “A Quiet Place,” “The Post,” “Maniac,” “Jessica Jones,” “House of Cards,” and “Unsane.”
When ValorVC met Aerobo, they were on track for triple digit revenue growth year over year, triggering our hypergrowth thesis.
With $9B spent in Georgia in the entertainment industry alone that year, we knew the digitization and growth of the entertainment industry was a rising tide. While many other drone companies were focusing on the data you could get from drone flyovers for energy site inspection, building inspection or even athletic training, Aerobo saw that, “The drone is just a delivery vehicle—we’re focused on making it easy for the director to get exactly the shot they want—the most beautiful, most compelling aerial video anywhere.”
That customer focus was and is compelling. In story after story, we see Aerobo living the customer need and serving the customer’s dream for quality, compelling content. Their latest innovation, Vermeer, allows producers to share their vision with the drone through a unique VR flight path tool. “I’ve never cared about drones,” says founder Brian Streem, “I care about cameras, and I believe this is true of all filmmakers. We built Vermeer to give people better control over the flying camera, while everything else is automated away.”
Valor VC looks forward to future chapters in the Aerobo saga of aerial cinematography innovation.
“Valor VC provides value to Aerobo by connecting us with their vast network of growth-minded individuals and companies, and also always making themselves available for advice or support.“ says Brian Streem. “I like Valor because of their high-touch approach to investing. They’re always available and eager to make a connection that benefits Aerobo.”