According to the research firm, Airware was the best-funded drone start-up in 2014, having raised a total of $40 million from venture capital firms including Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital. Last month, the company also received an undisclosed investment amount from Intel Capital, which is also invested in PrecisionHawk.
"It's a data play. We are going to sell servers and we are going to sell chipsets based on getting this new class of information that we couldn't get before in the same degree in the same amounts," Kara said.
Traditional drone suppliers both in the consumer and military space are aware this is where the money is flowing and are all trying to get a piece of the action, he said.
For example, more consumer-focused drone makers are adding more advanced capabilities, and military drones, which are typically single-purpose, are beginning to add more technologies so that they can be used for many different scenarios.
"Every drone supplier knows this, they recognize this. So you see the military and civil guys moving down and adding new technologies and the prosumer folks are also upgrading their systems," Kara said.