Overview of Israeli drone startups 2017

Israeli startup ecosystem is widely known for its disruptive innovation element and a remarkably dynamic activity. This is also the case for drone technologies - one of possible drivers of the 4th industrial revolution. In recent years, we have witnessed the rising phenomenon of electric drones (EDs), available at competitive prices on the market. The growth in drone sales is so far exponential, which implies their increasing penetration into existing drone markets of photography, security and recreation and more importantly upcoming drone introduction into additional fields. This survey identified 54 civilian drone technology companies as of April 2017, from among several thousand Israeli technology companies - mostly recently established privately-held startups.

The extended commercial report can be purchased at LNRG Technology digital store (below).

As mentioned above, the Israeli startup ecosystem is widely known for its disruptive innovation element and a remarkably dynamic activity. With over seven thousand active startup companies, it serves as one of the primary innovation hubs in global terms. This is also the case for drone technologies - one of possible drivers of the 4th industrial revolution - a revolution which might irreversibly change global and local economy..

In recent years, we have witnessed the rising phenomenon of electric drones (EDs), available at competitive prices on the market. Electric drones are essentially small-sized civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mostly of multi-copter type. Drones have become to be viewed as a truly disruptive element within multiple areas over a very short period of time. The growth in drone sales is so far exponential, which implies their increasing penetration into existing drone markets of photography, security and recreation and more importantly upcoming drone introduction into additional fields. Such new fields are obtaining huge commercial potential for the industry, construction, logistics and possibly even passenger lift ability.

This survey identified 54 civilian drone technology companies as of April 2017, from among several thousand Israeli technology companies. In terms of legal status, practically all of the drone technology companies in this survey were found to be privately-held companies. Though, a number of Israeli government-held and public companies manufacture military drones, those were found irrelevant to this study.

Figure 1. Classification of the Israeli drone technology startups (2017), including System, UAVs & Platforms, Anti-drone, Aftermarket and Passenger segments.

Overall, identified drone technology providers can be classified into five main segments by the following methodology: system (components, embedded software and hardware solutions and external elements), UAVs and platforms (drone manufacturers and end-user solution providers), anti-drone technologies (detection and interception), aftermarket (add-on solutions for commercially available drones) and finally passenger segment (electric drones capable to carry humans). It should be mentioned that several companies have developments in more than one segment, but are classified according to their main product emphasis.

In terms of technology focus, in 2017 survey among Israeli drone companies, 28 companies (52%) were found to have system expertise, 13 companies (24%) were producing UAVs and platforms, 9 companies (17%) were developing anti-drone technologies, 3 companies (5%) targeting aftermarket applications and 1 company (2%) developing a passenger drone. In conclusion, Israeli drone technology ecosystem seems to be currently excelling in providing system components, as well as end-user UAV products and platforms. In addition, there is also a notable presence of anti-drone technology developers and a recently emerging drone aftermarket segment. The passenger UAV technology is so far developed by a single Israeli company, with another company making it a side project.