Drone startup Airware crashes, will shut down after burning $118M

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Drone operating system startup Airware  today suddenly informed employees it will cease operations immediately despite having raised $118 million from top investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s GV, and Kleiner Perkins. The startup ran out of money after trying to manufacture its own hardware that couldn’t compete with drone giants like China’s DJI. The company at one point had as many as 140 employees, all of which are now out of a job. Read the full article on TechCrunch

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Of coarse in this article AirWare blames their failure on their inability to compete with DJI and how the current drone hardware wasn’t sophisticated enough to produce the granularity of data needed.  

And:  “History has taught us how hard it can be to call the timing of a market transition. We have seen this play out first hand in the commercial drone marketplace.”  They are right there is a market transition happening but it has nothing to do with drones.  They failed because they were led by a millennial that no idea the history of this sort of transformation.  They failed because they were idiots, it had nothing to do with DJI.

We competed head-to-head on a couple of large projects and they had no idea what they were doing and how two guys in a garage could compete, let alone win that size of contract.  

I feel for those that lost their jobs but if people read this article and thread and think this is bad for the commercial drone industry, its not.  Its good that these overhyped companies along with ignorant investors are getting weeded out.  If AirWare actually solved a problem for customers and they understand what transformation was actually taking place, this wouldn't have happened.

Its a great day to be in the commercial drone industry! 

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Clearly this was a result of poor leadership. 

To have that much cash infused, and take such a large workforce by surprise with an "effective immediately" shutdown!
This wasn't a product/hardware competition problem.

This was a problem with mismanagement of funds and poor leadership to the employees that believed in their vision. Sad deal.

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