Seedstars World hosted its ‘start-up competition’ event in Baku in August, and they have a winner: Dronee, a drone manufacturer, which provides application & hardware platform that developers can use to write a new application or integrate existed application easily.
Tomi Piriyev, founder of Dronee, kindly answered Nicolas Bry‘s questions to let us discover Dronee more in-depth.
1) Target, Usage
NB: Dronee presents a drone with an application & hardware platform that developers can leverage to write a new application or integrate existing application easily.
- Can you give us exemplary use cases for your service (monitoring disease propagation, emergency situations, 36D mapping)? What is the drone you sell well suited for? Will it be controlled by any smartphone OS (iOS, Android, …)? What is the network used for the connection between the drone and the smartphone (4G, Wifi, low bandwidth IoT network)?
- Who are the typical users of your service (what kind of developers: corporate developers, freelancers, …)? What are the main benefits of your platform for them?
- By the way, you might have a look at another Seedstarsworld winner, Azimuth, who might be one of your users!
Tomi Piriyev: First year to find out new drone applications, we will focus on hobbyists, developers where other applications ( Agriculture, 3D mapping, search and rescue) came from. Also we are planning to make Hackathons to get developers attention to Dronee to see what kind of new ideas will come.
Initial applications of Dronee will be for Real Time HD video (>3km) for Search and Rescue Application, Aerial Mapping in first year.
Our benefit is developers will be able write new application to the drone without making drone, because it is very complicated, and requires a lot of money and time. We are offering off-the shelf, long flight time, autonomous, programmable drone to developers that they can directly move on exact project what they are willing to make.
2) Business model & Ecosystem Marketing
- NB: How do you monetize your activity, based on device sales? Do you provide after-sales service? Do you monetize an API subscription to your platform?
- What is your geographic target market? How do you plan to market your platform to the rest of the world, and develop your ecosystem? Are you looking for distribution partners like IoT operators (Orange 4G IoT kit, Sigfox, Actility ThingPark) or open source players (Dronecode)?
Tomi Piriyev: We sell drones, 3rd party applications and 3rd party hardware/sensor customized for Dronee.
First year we will target on people who are Hobbyist and Developer. We will focus on to add new possible drone applications to our drone. In the beginning no API monetization, API will be open, no any fee, but later years still under discussion. Yes we are looking for distribution partners. No we are not open source player.
We are creating drone application eco-system to collect all drone applications in one platform. This will create drone application market, developers will sell their application through “Dronee App Store”.
3) Competition & Environment
- NB:Who are you competing with? What added value do you bring compared to other IoT platforms (Actility ThingPark Developer, ThingWorx, Carriots, Google Brillo, Xively, Qualcomm) or Drone platforms (3drobotics, airware) ?
Tomi Piriyev: DJI is one of our biggest competitor, especially recently they announced new drone for developers with API , we will compete with them with long flight time and price, because they announced recently.
3D Robotics is offering components to make a DIY drone. You need to add some other computers to add other features, and still needed engineering level knowledge to build a drone.
Airware is our most closest competitor. They are offering customized drone for businesses with cloud based application platform.
Airware focused on businesses market. We focused on B2C market and we are developing our drone that doesn’t required any instruction book to operate. Plus with API that allows developers to write application to the Dronee without knowing how Dronee flies.
- Tell us about your team, who you are, where you’re from, what are your skills, how you met, and what is your mantra? Send us a picture of your team!
- What would you describe as a success for your venture?
Tomi Piriyev: In our team we are 2 people. There is Maksim Piriyev who has 7 years experience from software development and he is ex-Microsoft intern. He interned at XBOX dev team in Redmond, USA, and there is me: I have background from aerospace engineering and I have experience from Danish drone company. Also during student years I have been in university drone Development team as a team leader of technical part. Also we are brothers !