Axon Announces Purchase Of Drone Defence Firm Dedrone

Axon, a provider of technologies for public safety, revealed yesterday that it is purchasing drone defence firm Dedrone.

TakeAway Points:

  • Axon, a company well-known for its law enforcement gear, including police body cams and Tasers, revealed yesterday that it is purchasing drone defence firm Dedrone.
  • Dedrone is gaining traction with clients in the global government, law enforcement, first responder, and critical infrastructure sectors. 
  • The deal, the details of which were not made public, is anticipated to close in the second half of 2024.

Axon to Buy Dedrone

Serving airports, stadiums, and high-profile events, Dedrone caters to the military, government, and commercial clients. It has emerged as a key participant in the field of “smart air security.”

Fifty stadiums, thirty airports, forty towns, fifty correctional facilities, and fifty stadiums in the United States are already equipped with its technology. Its operations encompass 36 nations, nine federal agencies in the United States, and over 35 law enforcement organisations.

Since its founding in 2014, Dedrone has received venture funding totaling $127 million from current investors. Among them is Axon, which co-led a financing round with VC firms in July 2022 and holds a board seat at Dedrone.

However, the deal’s terms were not made public, although it is anticipated to close in the second half of 2024.

In addition to body cameras and in-car cameras, Axon, best known for the Taser, also provides video from its body cameras as well as a cloud-based digital evidence management platform. Along with a commercial company, its clients include fire departments, correctional facilities, the justice system, and first responders from international, federal, state, and local law enforcement.

Axon Combines with Dedrone

Rick Smith, Axon’s CEO, said that the firm’s purpose aligns with what Dedrone has done to preserve public airspace. Smith created the public safety organisation three decades ago.

 “And you can see what’s happening around the world. Drones carry great promise, but also great peril. And so, by combining forces, we’re able to bring our scale together with Dedrone’s ingenuity and innovation so that we can protect more lives in more places,” Smith said.

Axon’s shares have increased from as little as $50 in 2019 to over $300 now, with a market worth of over $24 billion. In its most recent financial report, which was made public along with the news of the acquisition yesterday afternoon, Axon raised its guidance for full-year revenue to about $2 billion following a first quarter in which sales growth was 34%.

Aaditya Devarakonda, the CEO of Dedrone since 2020 and formerly a technology investment banker and adviser, cited the company’s expanding market share in the government, utilities, critical infrastructure, event venues, airports, and correctional facilities as suitable fit markets for Axon’s network of interconnected hardware and software.

“We are deployed in 800 different locations. We keep the bad drones out. Just open any newspaper, and switch on any TV channel. Look at what’s happening in Ukraine. Look at what’s happening in the Middle East. Drones have changed modern warfare, public safety, and homeland security forever. Look, every airport needs it, and every prison needs it.” Devarakonda said.

Dedrone Major Product

Dedrone Tracker, the company’s main product, protected 44 important locations and 900 square kilometres of airspace during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Formula One Grand Prix has also been utilised by it. The tracker can identify about 200 drone models from 65 manufacturers, sound warnings, and compile event data into forensic reports by analysing the data.

In addition to introducing a first responder drone that law enforcement agencies are field testing, it also unveiled DedroneTactical, a plug-and-play, portable setup radar equipped with AI-driven detecting technology. The most notable of its new offerings is DedroneCityWide, which functions as a drone version of an air traffic control system and was named a top invention of 2023 by Time.

The Department of Homeland Security designated Dedrone technology as the only counterdrone that was authorised for use in anti-terrorism operations during the previous year. 

Dedrone to Increase Axon’s Market Share

According to Smith, Dedrone will add more than 20% to Axon’s overall market share. In a future where consumer drones that are essentially available at Best Buy or online can become “things that can be quite dangerous” with a little planning and repurposing, Dedrone is in a position where society will need assistance determining the risks as well as the “huge area of growth” for the public safety sector to own its own drones. 

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