£180,000 investment for drone services firm

A commercial drones company based in Caerphilly has received £180,000 of investment from the Development Bank of Wales.

The bank has provided match funding to a syndicate of five business angels investing in Drone Evolution, which is looking to expand its offering.

Andrew Diplock, former managing director of UES Energy, is leading this round. He invests predominately in Welsh rooted businesses and is a member of the Welsh Government’s Valleys Taskforce.

When the deal is completed, the firm could raise up to £270,000 of funding to buy drone equipment and develop its premises. The latter will also be turned into a state-of-the-art training facility for the industry.

Launched earlier this month, Drone Evolution is on a mission to change the way businesses and organisations use drones and increase public safety. It’s looking to build a fleet of five high-spec drones and recruit 15 employees over the next three years.

Clatyon Earney, MD of Drone Evolution, said: “This is a show of faith from investors that this is a business that’s worth investing in, and they think it’s an exciting opportunity in a sector that’s growing fast.

Lead investor Andrew Diplock said: “What I look for in any business are the right individuals with the right experience, a great business model and a growth ambition for an ultimate exit. Drone Evolution ticked all the boxes for this investment.”

Andrew is supporting the company through the Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund, which is a Development Bank of wales programme that provides match funding of a maximum of £250,000 per project.

He added: “The fund gives the opportunity to the angel community to drive their own selection of investment opportunities. Crucially, it’s an angel-led activity that is agile and innovative and credit goes to the Development Bank of Wales and Angels Invest Wales for enabling this to happen in Wales to help Welsh entrepreneurs.”