Verizon acquires drone operations management company Skyward


Verizon recently purchased Skyward, a Portland-based drone operations management company.

This acquisition will enable Verizon to provide businesses with one source for integrating, managing and wirelessly connecting unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations, according to a news release. The platform will be designed to handle end-to-end activities such as mission planning, complex workflow, FAA compliance support, and provisioning rate plans for UAS on Verizon’s network.

“Drones are becoming an essential tool for improving business processes at large companies, but scalability has been a challenge,” Skyward founder and CEO Jonathan Evans said, according to the release. “Skyward’s drone operations management platform combined with Verizon’s network, reliability, scale and expertise in delivering enterprise solutions will allow organizations to efficiently and safely scale drones across multiple divisions and hundreds of use cases.”

Acquiring Skyward is part of Verizon’s strategy to operate in high growth markets leveraging core assets to accelerate Internet of Things adoption, according to the release.

“Last quarter we announced our strategy to drive innovation and widespread adoption for in-flight wireless connectivity through our Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) initiative, a new service to simplify certification and connectivity of wireless drones,” said Mike Lanman, senior vice president, Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, according to the release. “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.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.