Founded in 2010 in Newport Beach, California, last month Airware picked up another $25 million to help ease them into their new corporate headquarters at 1045 Bryant Street, formerly the home of House of Louie Appliances. They’re just completing an extensive remodel, with retail on the ground floor and two floors of offices above.
Airware (formerly Unmanned Innovation, Inc.) is an aerial information platform for the rapid development and safe operation of commercial drones; in other words, software, not hardware. But they will begin selling commercial drones from other manufacturers as soon as federal regulations are adjusted to their satisfaction. In the meantime, they’re working with international clients.
The conversion of industrial to office space in SoMa is continuing at a blistering pace, with Supervisor Jane Kim poised to introduce Interim Controls tomorrow at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Land use watchdog Sue Hestor points out that permits for the remodeling of the upper floors were taken out as an office conversion. Industrial to office conversions are supposed to trigger fees. They will owe money to the city and the Eastern Neighborhoods area plan.
Airware Founder and CEO Jonathan Downey thinks the first use of commercial drones will be industrial photography and inspecting things that are hard to get to. Of course, Amazon envisions a world where drones replace delivery trucks.
Drones aren’t inherently killing machines, Downey told TechCrunch.com. It’s all about how you use them. “I think this is a technology similar to GPS, which was originally developed by the military largely for weapons guidance.
They have now raised a total of $40 million to expand engineering, sales, marketing and customer support.