March 25, 2020

Drone companies’ prospects bright as coronavirus prompts surge in use

By Lucy Ingham

While many industries are suffering severely as a result of the coronavirus-induced lockdowns now in place in many parts of the world, drone companies are seeing a surge as the technology is adopted by governments.

Around the world, governments and healthcare providers have deployed the technology for a host of coronavirus-related applications, from delivery drones for medical supplies to police drones to disperse unlawful gatherings.

And while this is proving beneficial in stopping the spread of the disease, it is also creating significant benefits for some of the world’s biggest drone companies.

In a recently published report by GlobalData Thematic Research, entitled COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Electronics, drone companies DJI and Parrot were highlighted as having made significant gains as a result of the coronavirus.

GlobalData’s latest thematic scorecard for consumer electronics, which ranks the top companies in the sector in their leadership across ten themes considered to be the current driving forces for the market, has seen both companies climb significantly.

World-leading Chinese dronemaker DJI, which makes iconic drones such as the Phantom and the Inspire, has climbed from 29th place in January to fourth in March, claiming the position from Apple.

Meanwhile, French dronemaker Parrot, has also enjoyed a notable climb, moving from 28th in January to eighth in March.

Top 30 companies in tech, before and after the coronavirus

January 2020 March 2020
1 Alphabet Alphabet
2 Microsoft Amazon
3 Amazon Alibaba
4 Apple DJI
5 Alibaba Microsoft
6 Xiaomi Stratasys
7 Huawei 3D Systems
8 Facebook Parrot
9 Sony Vuzix
10 Vuzix iRobot
11 Baidu Facebook
12 iRobot Sony
13 Hikvision Baidu
14 HTC Apple
15 Dell Dell
16 Seiko Epson HTC
17 Magic Leap
18 Magic Leap Samsung Electronics
19 Logitech Xiaomi
20 Lenovo Logitech
21 GoPro Panasonic
22 Panasonic Blackberry
23 LG Electronics
24 Stratasys GoPro
25 3D Systems Control4
26 Control4 Huawei
27 Samsung Electronics Hikvision
28 Parrot LG Electronics
29 DJI Garmin
30 ZTE Ingenico

Why drone companies have benefited from the coronavirus

The use of drones to assist with efforts against the coronavirus began in China, but other countries have also followed.

“They have been used in China to disinfect streets and ones with loudspeakers have been used to chide citizens out on the streets to get back inside and self-isolate,” explained David Bicknell, principal analyst of Thematic Research at GlobalData.

“Spain and the US – and presumably many others soon – have followed China’s lead. Drones have also been used to deliver medical samples.”

Drones have been particularly beneficial for medical deliveries because they allow the amount of contact with humans to be reduced.

“The automatic, unmanned air delivery system significantly reduces contact between samples and personnel, as well as improving delivery speed,” the report states.

“Drone suppliers such as DJI and Parrot are likely to see increased demand for products as other countries take steps to keep people off the streets and prioritise medical deliveries.”

Read more: Coronavirus hits Apple hardest out of big tech firms

Verdict deals analysis methodology

This analysis considers only announced and completed cross border deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.

Topics in this article: ,