Drones, in all shapes, sizes and colors, aren’t just for the military anymore but are instead being quickly adopted by businesses in a variety of sectors looking to take advantage of the cheap aerial vehicles.
According to industry website DroneGuru.co, the market for consumer drones is skyrocketing, with companies such as DJI, Parrot, and 3D Robotics rapidly expanding as they scoop up cash from venture capital firms. This year alone has seen over $150 million invested in the three companies.
Last year saw over $110 million spent on drone investments, including crowdfunded projects, which alone raised over $10 million. VCs are taking note, with more than five funds being created to invest solely in drone and related technologies.
All the investment is for good reason. In 2015, consumer drone sales are expected to reach $1.5 billion worldwide. By 2020 the market will reach $4 Billion in revenue.
Yet these projections are probably conservative, as analysts have difficulty forecasting demand given rapidly changing FAA regulations. The national aerospace regulator has just puts its proposal to legalize commercial drone use into action, opening up a whole new drone market which is tricky to value.
Yet the big driver of drone sales in the immediate future is by regular consumers, who want them to take pictures and play with. Drones are an especially hot Christmas gift, which means the industry will see a flood of drones at very small price points, in addition to larger models used for more commercial tasks like crop surveying and shipping.