Israeli startup ecosystem is widely known for its disruptive innovation element and a remarkably dynamic activity, including industry 4.0 solutions such as drones. This 2019 market survey identified 81 Israeli civilian drone technology companies including providers of UAVs & Platforms, Drone Systems, Anti-Drone solutions, Passenger Drones and Aftermarket products. Out of surveyed civilian drone technology companies, a remarkable 68% are startups – actively operating privately-held companies established within the past decade, which have yet reached an IPO or underwent M&A; 32% are mature companies, including publicly traded ones.
In recent years, we have witnessed the rising phenomenon of electric drones (EDs) also referred as multi-copters or civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), available at competitive prices on the market. Drones have become to be viewed as a truly disruptive element within multiple areas of industry and services over a 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 industrial areas.
Figure 1. Active drone technology companies in Israel with civilian technology orientation 2011-2019.
In terms of legal status, most of the civilian drone technology companies in this survey were found to be privately-held limited companies, with fewer being subsidiary limited companies and public companies. Though, a number of Israeli governmental, public and private companies specifically manufacture military drones, those were excluded from the below statistical analysis, while listed separately in the appendix. Out of surveyed civilian drone technology companies, a remarkable 68% are startups – actively operating privately-held companies established within the past decade, which have yet reached an IPO or underwent M&A; 32% are mature companies, including publically traded ones.
Figure 2. Israeli civilian drone companies by maturity – ratio of startups and mature companies (2019).
Overall, Israeli civilian drone technology providers can be classified into five main categories or subsectors: UAVs & Platforms, System components and technologies, Anti-drone technologies, Aftermarket solutions and Passenger drones. It should be mentioned that several companies have developments in more than one segment, but are classified according to their main product emphasis.
Figure 3. Subsector classification of the Israeli drone technology startups (2019), including UAVs & Platforms, Systems, Anti-drone, Passenger and Aftermarket segments.
In terms of technology focus per above classification, the 2019 survey identified 23 active companies (28%) producing UAVs & Platforms, 39 companies (48%) having drone Systems expertise, 9 companies (11%) developing Anti-drone solutions, 8 companies (10%) targeting Aftermarket drone applications and 2 companies (2%) developing Passenger drone technology. In conclusion, Israeli drone technology ecosystem seems to be currently excelling in providing system components, as well as end-user UAV products and platforms.
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