MMC Ventures and Bristow Group close $5.7m Sky-Futures funding round

Sky-Futures, the leading provider of drone inspection services for the oil and gas industry, today reported that it has a $4.2 million investment by Bristow Group, and an additional $1.5 million investment by MMC Ventures, bringing total investments in the company to more than $10 million.

Sky-Futures has been growing fast and now delivers drone inspection services in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, the Middle East, South East Asia and North Africa – and works with more than 35 of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world including Apache, BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Statoil.

This latest investment by Bristow will allow Sky-Futures to accelerate the development of its technology platform. Sky-Futures uses sophisticated software to automate analysis of the data its drones gather, helping to identify potential problems in a rig and provide accurate corrosion forecasts. Clients access imagery and analysis through a cloud-hosted portal, together with expert input from Sky-Futures’ experienced engineers.

James Harrison, co-founder and CEO, Sky-Futures, said, “This partnership between Bristow and Sky-Futures enables us to rapidly expand the operational delivery of drone-based inspection services in the global oil and gas market. We’re really excited because it allows us to enhance our advanced technology platform that powers industrial data capture and analysis, providing our clients with increasingly valuable and actionable information. We’re working on automating the entire analysis process using algorithms to provide a high degree of confidence to engineers. This will enable more efficient operations, planning and maintenance of the infrastructure.”

Simon Menashy, Investment Director at MMC Ventures, said, “We backed Sky-Futures early on, not just as a leading commercial drone business, but as a much larger opportunity to use data to change the way the oil and gas industry thinks about its infrastructure – and we’ve worked closely with the founders over the past year to build out the global team and technology platform. This new partnership with Bristow will combine the best of both companies’ capabilities while enabling Sky-Futures to accelerate the development of its customer and analytics software.”

Bristow Group President and CEO Jonathan Baliff said, “In this new market reality where continued cost pressures compel companies to find new solutions, our investment in Sky-Futures puts Bristow at the forefront of offering innovative solutions that help our mutual clients achieve further efficiencies in their operations. Through our partnership, we will collaborate with Sky-Futures and its leading safety culture, operational integration, and analysis technology, to capitalize beyond the growing need for global UAV inspection services in oil and gas to other industries, including search and rescue. This agreement is another example of how Bristow is taking proactive steps to differentiate itself and capitalize on strategic growth opportunities that are aligned with our core values and competencies.”