Anti-Drone Tech Goes Down Under

DroneshieldAustraliavia DroneLife

An American start-up is showing once again why the anti-drone (or “dronekiller”) industry may be poised to launch a multi-billion-dollar tech sector.

According to Australia’s Financial Review, DroneShield, an anti-drone tech firm formerly based in Herndon, has been acquired by Australian venture-capital group Long Hill LLC and is in the process of raising an investment round of $7 million. According to the company prospectus, the newly formed corporation plans to list publicly on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) – also known as the Sydney Stock Exchange.

The company’s primary product uses acoustic technology to detect incoming drones from up to 150 yards and sends emails or text messages to a monitoring service.

Prisons have started using the product to stop drones from delivering contraband such as cell phones of drugs to prisoners.

DroneShield proved that it could also operate in a noisier, less stable environment when it deployed detectors at the2015 and 2016 Boston Marathon. The entire marathon route had been declared a “no-drone zone” by city officials.

After completion of the April 1 exchange agreement between the founders — Brian Hearing and John Franklin – and the new Australian company, DroneShield’s co-inventors retain 45 percent of the stock while Long Hill (now operating as DroneShield LLC) will own 55 percent.

Hearing and Franklin will continue to maintain operational updates from their D.C.-based office while ICMI Technologies of Herndon will continue to manufacture the company’s anti-drone sensor arrays.

In DroneShield’s new prospectus, market experts Frost & Sullivan paint a bright future for the company.

“Systems for detecting and negating small, commercial drones are being developed globally, but a few companies, like DroneShield, have a head start.”

“Drone detection is a nascent industry, and DroneShield is one of the early movers in it. There is a limited number of drone-detection solutions that are readily commercially-available to end-users in the market and are credible, effective and cost-effective,” a DroneShield report added.

“Because of the lack of solutions to the pervasive threat of commercially-available drones around the world, DroneShield is experiencing substantial inbound demand for its products.”

Jason Reagan is a futurist, tech writer, communications specialist and optimist. He also blogs for DroneLife (@DroneLife)

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