Here at DroneBase, we get incredibly excited when our costs go up.
Right under our 'revenue from customers' is our 'payments to drone pilots' figure – which is in theory a cost to DroneBase. While most companies fight cost increases tooth and nail, every person at DroneBase celebrates when we help a pilot turn their passion into a profession. Looking back over the past year, we were able to pay the DroneBase Pilot network over $1,000,000 to fly their drones. I think we were the first (and still the only) drone company to hit that milestone, and we expect to continue to drive pilot payouts dramatically up this year.
As we find ourselves in September, we've now paid out millions to our network (yes, that's plural!)
Because most of us here at DroneBase are drone pilots, we know every extra dollar we can get to our pilots means that you can buy that extra battery, invest in that new system, or upgrade to the latest camera. We have also gotten those sidelong glances from anxious partners at home who we need convincing that yes, being a drone pilot is a profession, and a great one. We know you are taking a risk to build an entirely new skill set that can't be learned in a school, in a book, or on the internet; and that many people question or doubt (and feel especially compelled to tell you that precisely while you are out in the field flying!) And we know that every flight makes you a more skilled, credible, and experienced pilot.
We also appreciate our pilot community's willingness to work with us and be patient with us as we build our business together. In late 2016, we really felt like we were building the volume necessary to unlock value for everyone in the space. With our newly launched pano missions, we are getting an incredible reception and opening up countless new customers to drone aerials, even as we optimize our processes to maximize payouts and successful flights. Best of all, in 2016 we watched increasing numbers of DroneBase pilots be able to make flying their drone a full-time profession or at least a significant source of supplemental income.
We are grateful that you choose to "Fly With Us", and we are incredibly excited to watch our costs skyrocket again in 2017.