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  • Writer's pictureShivani Deshmukh

Use and Market Segments for Startups in the Drone Sector

With the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.8% in the drone sector from 2021 to 2026, it is a great time to be a startup in the drone sector. There are many opportunities for startups to create innovative products and services as well as deliver them to market.

The unique appeal of drones lies in the fact that they can be customized to perform tasks that are too time-consuming or dangerous to be done by humans. This has led drone manufacturers to target a wide range of industries, including scientific research, construction, and transportation. Some envision commercial drones flying around your city taking pictures and recording video at every turn. The possibilities are endless! Let's discuss how startups can benefit from joining this exciting market sector.

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How drones are being used today?

The use of drones has become more common over the past few years because they can be very useful for tasks such as inspecting infrastructure structures and identifying potential threats both on land and underwater. Drones are becoming more popular because they can be operated remotely from a remote location via an internet connection. This allows users to fly their drones without having to physically be present at the scene which saves time and money while reducing risk exposure during transportation or operation of these devices.

From the above picture, we can note the predicted value of drones by industry. It is as follows:

  • Infrastructure - $45.2B

  • Agriculture - $32.4B

  • Transport - $13B

  • Security - $10B

  • Media and Entertainment – $8.8B

  • Insurance - $6.8B

  • Telecommunication - $6.3B

  • Mining - $4.4B

Drones are being used today for commercial purposes like agriculture, construction, real estate inspection, military operations, weather research, delivering packages, or filming videos. Drones have been used for more than a decade now in many applications including:

  • Maritime surveillance - They can be used for military purposes, such as reconnaissance and surveillance.

For example - The United States Navy has experimented with using drones for maritime surveillance since 2007. The service intends to use them to gather intelligence on foreign submarines and ships that do not enter U.S.-controlled waters.

  • Photography - Drones can be equipped with cameras or other sensors that can provide information about the environment around them or record images of events such as fires or explosions. This is especially useful in areas where traditional cameras cannot be flown or are too dangerous to use.

They can also be used to take pictures of structures or objects such as bridges, buildings, and even people. These cameras can capture breathtaking images over large areas quickly and easily.

  • Monitoring wildlife - Several organizations have begun using drones to monitor wildlife populations and habitats in both urban and rural areas throughout the world. Some conservationists believe this will help them better understand how animals survive in their natural habitats, which could help them manage animal populations.

  • Disaster Relief - Drones have also been used in disaster relief efforts. They are being used to help with rescue operations and other tasks that would be dangerous or difficult for humans to perform. They can help transport supplies where they're needed most quickly and safely—and without putting anyone at risk in the process.

These drones can be used for search & rescue operations when people get lost or stranded somewhere in remote areas like mountains or jungles where there are no roads or paths for them to follow.

For example, drones were deployed by FEMA during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana in 2005 to help with flood cleanup efforts.

  • Mapping and Surveying - Drones are becoming increasingly popular as a tool for mapping and surveying. They allow people to capture high-quality images from above with no risk of injury or death. They can be used for aerial photography, videography, and even cinematography.

They help companies build their property maps faster and more accurately than traditional methods. This includes city mapping where companies need to locate buildings and other objects within the city limits or even large areas like farms or forests where they want to know where their crops are located or where their forest stands are located.

For example - Drones have been used by businesses to survey their land, by government agencies to monitor public areas, and by universities to study the environment.

  • Agriculture and Forestry - Drones are also being used in areas that were not previously accessible using traditional technology, such as agriculture or forestry.

  • Journalism - Drones have become a popular tool for journalists to report on breaking news stories. They have been known to stay airborne for up to 24 hours at a time. This ability to stay airborne for so long makes it possible to cover large areas of land quickly and efficiently.

  • Monitor Traffic - Drones can also be used to monitor traffic and areas that are currently unmonitored.

  • Research - Another way that drones are being used today is through research. Scientists use drones as an accurate way of recording data about their subjects, as well as gathering information about how certain plants grow or what animals do at certain times of the day.

  • Weather Research - Weather research is another area where drones are used today. They can gather information about weather conditions and make forecasts with more accuracy than human meteorologists can do alone.

What are the various market segments that drone startups can target?

The drone industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, and it's not just for consumer use anymore. Businesses are starting to realize that drones can be used for a variety of commercial applications. The United States is a huge market for drone startups, as it is the largest economy and has a population of over 300 million people. The United States has also been one of the most active countries in terms of drone use, with many new companies entering the field.

There are three main market segments that drone startups can target:

  • The commercial sector:

This segment includes companies that use drones for commercial purposes, such as agriculture, mining, oil and gas extraction, real estate development, and logistics. Drones are used to monitor or inspect these activities from above.

1. Agriculture: Drones are used extensively in agriculture these days, from monitoring crops from above to helping farmers spray pesticides on their fields from above without having to risk getting their hands dirty with chemicals or seeds themselves — all while saving time and money as well as making their jobs easier and safer as well. Farmers can use drones to monitor crops and livestock, collect data on crop health and manage operations more efficiently.

2. Last Mile Delivery: Drones can be used for cargo delivery services (CAD) such as Amazon Prime Air which will deliver packages via drones from warehouses to customers’ homes – or delivery services such as Fed Ex Office. Amazon Prime Air will roll out its services to customers later this year in Lockeford, California.

  • The industrial sector:

This segment includes companies that use drones for industrial purposes, such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, and logistics (including freight transport), firefighting/first responder services (including search and rescue), energy generation/distribution/consumption (such as wind turbines), and civil engineering activities like surveying and mapping. Drones are used to monitor or inspect these activities from above.

1. Construction: Drones can help inspect infrastructure during construction projects, allowing for better planning and fewer errors in site selection.

  • The public sector:

This segment includes government agencies or non-profit organizations that use drones for public safety purposes, such as police departments or fire departments. Drones can be used to monitor crowds.

1. Public Safety: The police force, fire department, military, and emergency services use drones in a variety of ways. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses drones to intercept illegal immigrants crossing the border illegally. And the U.S. Forest Service uses drones to monitor wildfires and to help them fight them more effectively by mapping out the terrain in advance of an outbreak or blaze.

What is the current scenario in drone space?

The current situation in drone space is a bit complicated. We have the drone industry that is booming and expanding, but we also have the regulatory bodies that are trying to keep up with it. It's a race against time as they try to figure out how to keep up with businesses that are using or will be using drones for commercial purposes without legal issues.

This incredible growth has been fueled by a combination of factors including the demand for affordable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which are used by businesses; increased government regulation; technological advancements; and increased public awareness about their potential uses.

The drone market is growing rapidly, as demonstrated by an increase in the number of companies that are entering this market and an expansion of the types of products being produced. These developments have occurred at a time when there has been increasing interest in drones from regulators and policymakers around the world.


In a nutshell, drone technology is evolving quickly. As the growth of any industry progresses, there are struggles and triumphs along the way until it eventually reaches an equilibrium point. Drone technology should soon reach this point as regulations become clearer and more streamlined, and as new uses for it are developed. Although we haven't yet reached a saturation point, there's been a surge in adoption rates.

Currently, the biggest player in drone technology is the military, but now companies like Amazon and Swiggy are looking at new ways to use drones—such as delivering packages, or even pizza!

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