Axon to Acquire Air Defense Startup Dedrone: Strengthening Public Safety Technology Portfolio

Public safety technology company Axon has announced its acquisition of Dedrone, a startup specializing in drone defense. Dedrone provides security solutions for various sectors, including military, government, and commercial clients like airports, stadiums, and high-profile events.

Its technology, known as smart air security, is already deployed in 40 cities across the United States, covering half of the population, as well as in 36 countries globally. Dedrone’s clientele includes 30 airports, 50 stadiums, and 50 correctional facilities, along with nine U.S. federal agencies and over 35 law enforcement agencies.

Established in 2014, Dedrone has received venture funding totaling $127 million, with Axon among its existing investors. Axon, renowned for its Taser devices, body cameras, in-car cameras, and digital evidence management platform, has collaborated with Dedrone previously and co-led a financing round in July 2022.

Ranked No. 23 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list last year, Dedrone has demonstrated significant growth and recognition in the industry. The terms of the acquisition, expected to be finalized in the latter half of 2024, have not been disclosed.

Axon CEO Rick Smith, emphasizing the alignment of Dedrone’s mission with Axon’s focus on public safety, highlighted the importance of safeguarding airspace amidst the increasing use of drones worldwide.

Dedrone’s CEO noted its presence in 800 locations, offering protection against unauthorized drones.

Smith emphasized the potential of drones for both positive and negative purposes, underscoring the importance of combining Axon’s resources with Dedrone’s innovative solutions to enhance public safety.

With a market valuation exceeding $24 billion, Axon’s shares have experienced substantial growth in recent years, reaching over $300 from a low of $50 in 2019.

The company’s annual revenue stands at $1.5 billion, reflecting its strong performance in the public safety technology sector. The acquisition announcement coincided with the release of Axon’s latest earnings report on Monday afternoon.

Aaditya Devarakonda, who previously worked as a technology investment banker and advised Dedrone, has been the CEO of Dedrone since 2020.

He highlighted the company’s expanding presence across various industries, including government, utilities, critical infrastructure, event venues, airports, and correctional facilities, as a perfect fit for Axon’s ecosystem of connected devices and software.

Dedrone’s technology secured the airspace during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“We are currently deployed in 800 different locations,” Devarakonda informed Brennan. “Our focus is on keeping unauthorized drones out. If you look at recent news or turn on any TV channel, you’ll see how drones have significantly impacted modern warfare, public safety, and homeland security. Every airport and prison need protection against them.”

Dedrone’s systems are actively used in Ukraine, contributing to security efforts in the region.

The company’s flagship product, Dedrone Tracker, played a crucial role in safeguarding the airspace during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, covering 900 square kilometers and securing 44 key sites. It has also collaborated with events like the Formula One Grand Prix.

The tracker is capable of detecting around 200 drone models from 65 manufacturers, issuing alarms, and analyzing incident data to generate forensic reports.

In addition to its existing products, Dedrone has introduced innovative solutions such as a first responder drone tested by police departments and DedroneTactical, a portable radar setup equipped with AI-driven detection capabilities.

Dedrone’s technology secured the airspace during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Notably, DedroneCityWide, designed to function as an air traffic control system for drones, was recognized by Time as one of the best inventions of 2023.

Over the past year, Dedrone’s technology has been endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security as the sole counter-drone solution approved for anti-terrorism purposes.

Axon CEO Rick Smith estimated that Dedrone’s acquisition would expand Axon’s market opportunity by more than 20%. He emphasized the increasing need for solutions like Dedrone’s in a world where drones, readily available to consumers, can be repurposed for dangerous activities.

Smith emphasized the importance of addressing both the risks and the growth potential in the public safety sector related to drones.

Smith also highlighted the limitations of traditional surveillance methods, pointing out that relying on personnel to spot drones from rooftops is inefficient compared to using advanced sensor technology. He emphasized the importance of employing comprehensive drone tracking systems to enhance airspace security.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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