Investors at a London-based venture capital company have backed a drone company called Sky-Futures with £2.5 million – the largest amount ever poured into a European drone company. 

MMC Ventures is confident that the company’s drones, which inspect onshore and offshore oil and gas rigs, will become widely adopted. 

Stock photo of a drone ©iStock/Malifor
Stock photo of a drone ©iStock/Malifor

The drones collect HD video, stills and thermal imagery data, which is analysed in a proprietary data platform and delivered to the client as a technical report written by industry experts.

Sky-Futures, which already counts big name like BP and Shell as customers, said the money would help it to build out its technology inspection platform, while supporting its rapid growth. 

James Harrison, cofounder 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.” 

Sky-Futures now delivers drone inspection services in the North Sea, the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa, and has recently opened an office in Houston, Texas to serve clients in the Gulf of Mexico.

It claims to be one of the first companies to receive FAA regulatory approval to operate in the US.