KasselDuring Christmas, many unmanned aircraft will take off again in the park and on the streets. Aircraft is one of the most popular gifts. Even at 50 euros there is a simple model to see your home or your neighbor's gardens. The camera sends the image to your smartphone.
Jörg Lamprecht (age 49) can see this boom in a few weeks delay on the order. At the end of the holiday, many companies report to Dedrone, which started in Kassel. It is developing a system to prevent fallen drones. "The Christmas business guarantees consciousness," says the founder and president.
Not only because of toys, but also the amount of traffic in the sky is increasing. Dedrone wants to set itself up for this: The company has invested in Stefan Quandt, a billionaire with Aqton Private Equity. In addition to safety, Dedrone technology offers many opportunities, for example in the cities of the future, explained the BMW shareholder. He takes 10.15% of the equity capital at an equal price.
Investment is not about money. "It is nice that someone can open the door for us in Germany," says Lamprecht to Handelsblatt. The Quandt family has excellent contact with customers, dealers and partners. In the United States, former Cisco boss John Chambers is already an individual investor with his network.
The Dedrone system uses sensors to monitor airspace. Noise, movement or radio signals to detect suspicious flying objects. Depending on the frequency, an unmanned airplane pilot can find out. It is possible to land a professional unmanned aircraft, but only the police and the army are allowed.
There are many start-up customers. Many prisons want to prevent detainees from smuggling drugs or weapons. Sports organizers are afraid of attack and protect the stadium. Davos' World Economic Forum has protected VIP guests through Dedrone. Airports, refineries and data centers are also threatened.
"The market is just beginning to emerge," says Lamprecht. "But I can not imagine that an energy supplier would build a power plant in five years without thinking about the defense of unmanned airplanes." Dedrone wants to see the benefits of this development. With new capital, the company is expanding sales to corporate clients and the public sector.
In the United States, Lamprecht and co-founders Ingo Seebach (age 44) and René Seeber (age 48, 2016) moved to San Francisco because they needed a sky alarm system. Research and development and production continue at Kassel.
With the latest investments, Dedrone has received $ 25 million in venture capital from renowned companies such as Target Partners and Menlo Ventures. As the business progresses, startups will not be made public. The 2016 balance sheet showed a deficit of 3.1 million euros and a capital reserve of 2.5 million euros. But Lamprecht says, "The environment is very dynamic." Christof Kerkmann