Trimble Sells Its Drone Business

October 17, 2016 09:22 AM

Trimble was an undisputed pioneer of drones in the agricultural sector. The company purchased Gatewing, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business back in 2012, provided multiple fixed-wing and multi-rotor models for farmers and ranchers, and received the ag industry’s first Section 333 exemption from the FAA last December. This week, the company announces a change to its position in the drone market, selling Gatewing to French company Delair-Tech.

Delair-Tech says it made the purchase so it can consolidate its position in this emerging market. Trimble will remain engaged in the UAS market and has signed an agreement that makes Trimble a “preferred provider” of Delair-Tech’s “drone solutions.”

“Currently, the drone market is undergoing intense consolidation, and now is the time to strategically position ourselves as leaders of tomorrow,” says Michael de Lagarde, Delair-Tech CEO. “The agreement we have reached with Trimble will enable us to reach the critical size required to better respond to the needs of large industrial groups, which are our main target.”

According to Ron Bisio, vice president of Trimble’s Geospatial Division, the company will remain actively engaged in the market by leveraging its “brand-agnostic software” across a broader range of UAS platforms.

“Trimble will focus on core software technology for UAS that integrates positioning, remote sensing and photogrammetry,” he says.

De Lagarde says the ultimate goal is to provide farmers and other end-users with better “actionable business solutions.”

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