In less than a year, Europe-based drone group Parrot has announced the sale of two of its subsidiary companies to AgEagle Aerial Systems. The first was sensor specialist MicaSense. And now, fixed-wing drone maker senseFly is going to exit from Parrot’s portfolio.
AgEagle has signed a definitive agreement to acquire senseFly from Parrot in a cash and stock deal valued at $23 million. Incidentally, Parrot sold MicaSense to AgEagle in January 2021 for the exact same amount.
Founded in 2009, senseFly is best known for manufacturing the eBee line of fixed-wing drones for professional use. The company, which is headquartered in Switzerland, employs around 90 people. In 2020, senseFly generated total annual revenues of approximately $12.5 million.
AgEagle CEO Brandon Torres Declet sees senseFly as a strategic fit for his company. He says:
[This acquisition] is expected to accelerate our core growth strategy centered on delivering proprietary, full stack drone solutions to the global agriculture, construction, energy, government sectors, and in the future, package delivery. In addition, senseFly brings AgEagle solid engineering talent focused on advanced research and development, a well-established global reseller network and a strong portfolio of intellectual property.
But the question remains…
Why is Parrot selling senseFly?
It appears that Parrot, which once had a solid portfolio of drone companies covering equipment, software, and services, is letting go of all stable hardware businesses. And as DroneAnalyst points out, with the Parrot-branded ANAFI quadcopter line still struggling, the company now only has Pix4D software to bank on for growth. So, what gives?
Parrot founder and CEO Henri Seydoux explains:
Moving forward, Parrot will focus its expertise and resources on the growth of its professional quadcopter drone equipment and drone data analysis software activities. The transaction will provide additional cash and lower operational expends to drive Parrot’s growth and industry standing.
Meanwhile, Gilles Labossiere, senseFly’s CEO, feels that senseFly has reached a very exciting and pivotal point in its history. While Labossiere will be resigning from his position once the deal is closed, he insists:
senseFly is well-positioned to build upon its leading position in the fixed-wing drone market and accelerate its promising growth trajectory through this strategic combination with AgEagle.
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