Verizon buys Skyward, a drone operations company

Forget about Yahoo for a minute. Verizon just announced it has acquired Skyward, a drone operations and management company based out of Portland, Oregon for an undisclosed amount. Verizon says Skyward will help developers and businesses better create and manage drones that also happen to utilize Verizon’s mobile network services and infrastructure.

Skyward had raised $8.15M since its founding in October 2012. Verizon Ventures was an investor in the company’s seed round. The company will operate under Verizon’s IoT portfolio.

“Last quarter we announced our strategy to drive innovation and widespread adoption for in-flight wireless connectivity through our Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) initiative, said Mike Lanman, Verizon SVP Enterprise Products and IoT, in a released statement, “a new service to simplify certification and connectivity of wireless drones. This acquisition is a natural progression of our core focus on operating in innovative, high-growth markets, leveraging our network, scale, fleet management, device management, data analytics and security enablement capabilities and services to simplify the drone industry and help support the adoption of IoT.”

This purchase helps Verizon better position its products in the IoT space. Skyward seems well suited to assist Verizon in selling its services. The company had previously developed a platform that was FAA compliant and able to scale to small and large operations. As drones become more prolific, safety is paramount and operations like Skyward will increasingly become more in demand as operators, and providers of operators, look to insure their operations.

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