AgEagle CEO on acquisition binge, US drone market, rebranding plans

AgEagle Brandon Torres Declet

In the seven months since Brandon Torres Declet was appointed as its chief executive officer, AgEagle Aerial Systems has been aggressively pursuing its goal to become a global billion-dollar drone company.

For starters, AgEagle has completed three major acquisitions this year, the most recent being that of fixed-wing manufacturer senseFly, to offer customers a full-stack drone solution. And just this week, AgEagle company Measure announced a major partnership with Wing, the drone delivery unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

So, the question, if there would be any more M&A activity in the future, was top of mind for many analysts who joined Declet on a recent earnings call.

The CEO was quick to stress that AgEagle was taking a very thoughtful approach to every opportunity, ensuring that the potential acquisitions will support future organic growth. Declet said:

It’s very important that acquisitions create long-term shareholder value. And similar to the new relationship with Wing, we also intend to explore and pursue collaborative strategic partnerships with other technology companies if and when it makes sense to do so, and add tangible value and improve functionality and capabilities to our products and value for our customers.

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Declet further added that he’s working on enhancing the company’s value proposition for government customers, having recently hosted a congressman at AgEagle’s Wichita drone manufacturing facility:

At the heart of our capabilities is our ability to manufacture air-frames and sensors here in the United States, enhancing our domestic industrial base and bringing high-tech, well-paying jobs wherever AgEagle has facilities. Our acquisition of senseFly has also given our government vertical a strong start.

Team AgEagle hosts Representative Ron Estes of Kansas at the company’s Wichita HQ

When quizzed about expanding the team in an incredibly tight labor market, Declet pointed out that he wants to make AgEagle one of the best places to work by offering competitive salaries, high-quality benefits, professional development opportunities, and most importantly, the ability to make a mark and the exciting and fast-paced drone industry.

We’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success in our recruiting and hiring efforts in 2021 and expect the success will continue into 2022. Is it readily apparent that there are lots of qualified, talented people who are actively looking to capitalize on new career opportunities in the growing drone industry, and in particular, with leading companies like AgEagle. Given that we now have business operations globally, and are on a high-growth mode, we expect that we will be offering plenty of exciting opportunities well into the future.

Interestingly, with AgEagle no longer being an agriculture-centric solutions provider, there was talk about potential plans to rebrand the company as well, to which Declet responded:

Having made three acquisitions and measurably increasing our headcount this year, our current focus is and shall remain on integrating all of our business groups into one company. That being said, we’re listening to our customers, our shareholders, and the market on how we’re perceived as a company and what we can do to improve our position and shareholder value.

Declet wrapped up the earnings call by addressing the supply chain issue currently causing disruption across industries. Here’s Declet:

Like many companies, we’ve experienced our fair share of supply chain constraints. However, we continue to launch new products on or near schedule, and I remain confident that we can identify alternative suppliers if and/or when necessary. We’re keeping a very close eye on this critical issue and we’ll move quickly to address as necessary.

Read more: DJI releases two new drones in China: Agras T40 and T20P

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