French drone inspection company, Donecle, has successfully completed a funding round of €5.6M, marking a significant increase from their previous €1M raised in 2016. Notably, AkzoNobel, a leading manufacturer of paint and high-performance coatings from the Netherlands, is among the primary contributors.
Established in 2015, Donecle specializes in automating inspections using drones. Their technology provides a consistent, reliable, and safe method of examining various aircraft components, from the body to parts such as landing gear and engines. This innovation stands as an advantageous alternative to traditional inspection techniques, catering to airlines, repair centers, and other stakeholders in the aerospace domain.
Donecle's CEO, Matthieu Claybrough, expressed satisfaction with the latest investment, emphasizing mutual visions between Donecle and AkzoNobel:
“The trust from our customers, partners, and investors is paramount. Collaborating with industry leaders like AkzoNobel not only boosts our capabilities but also aids in realizing our shared objectives in the aerospace sector.”
AkzoNobel, besides being a prominent name in the paint industry, also holds a significant position in aerospace coating. Their collaboration with Donecle is evident in AkzoNobel's innovative "Aerofleet Coatings Management." This predictive maintenance service utilizes data from Donecle drones to proactively oversee coatings on aircraft in airline fleets.
Patrick Bourguignon, BU Director at AkzoNobel Automotive & Specialty Coatings, conveyed that the investment aligns with their approach to embrace top-tier technologies. He stated, "Our aim remains to offer our aerospace clients innovative solutions that not only enhance efficiency but also promote sustainable operations."
With this funding, Donecle is poised to further solidify its leading stance in the drone-based aircraft inspection market. The capital will be channelled towards marketing expansion, increased production rates, and speeding up qualification processes with key aircraft manufacturers. Additionally, Donecle is keen on integrating advanced features, such as artificial intelligence for automatic detection and the Iris dentCHECK for 3D damage assessment.
Donecle's recent achievement sets the stage for an enriched partnership with AkzoNobel. Their collective expertise aims to digitalize aircraft inspections, optimizing resource utilization, and ultimately leading to cost and time savings.