Henri Seydoux first founded Parrot in 1994. But the company has drastically evolved over time and managed to remain relevant more than 20 years later. Ten years ago, Parrot started working on consumer drones. And now, the company is in the middle of another shift as it now focuses more than ever on commercial drone use cases. That’s why we’re excited to announce that Parrot founder and CEO Henri Seydoux will join us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin on December 4-5, 2017.
When I last interviewed Seydoux, he looked back at the origin story of the first drones. He realized that he could re-use the same sensors and processors that you can find in a smartphone.
But instead of building phones, you could take advantage of the accelerometers, gyroscopes, wireless chips and energy-efficient processors to power tiny quadcopters. Since then, drones have become a big industry. It's hard to find a reality TV show without drone shots now.
Things worked well for a while. Parrot managed to sell a ton of consumer drones and it quickly became a great gift for the holiday season. But increased competition and shrinking margins led to some difficult decisions.
It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Parrot. In January, the company laid off 35 percent of its drone team to focus on commercial drones. The company has made a few acquisitions to become a key player in this space. SenseFly, Airinov, MicaSense and Pix4D are now all owned by Parrot.
And now, Parrot sells integrated software and hardware solutions for very special use cases. Just two weeks ago, Parrot released drones for firefighters and farmers. You can also imagine using drones for 3D modeling, inspection, deliveries and more.
Those products can be expensive as Parrot controls the software platform. But it still feels like tech companies are scratching the surface when it comes to commercial drones. So let’s see if Parrot can crack the code of the commercial drone space.
Get your Disrupt tickets right now to save 30 percent off of your tickets and see Henri Seydoux and other drone companies — prices will go up in a couple of weeks. You’ll also see the Startup Battlefield competition, in which a handful of startups pitch our judges with the hopes of winning the coveted Disrupt Cup and a cash prize.
You’ll get to chat with plenty of promising startups in Startup Alley, see amazing talks on the main stage, and unwind after a long day at the show with a cocktail and some new friends at the Disrupt after party.
Do you run a startup? The Startup Alley Exhibitor Package is your best bet to get the greatest exposure by exhibiting your company or product directly on the Disrupt Berlin show floor.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.