Wednesday 6.1.2021

From Muurame to the world and from VideoDrone Finland into Nordic Drone Oy

VideoDrone Finland Oy makes a technology supply contract to Denmark and changes its name into Nordic Drone Oy

VideoDrone Finland Oy operating in Muurame has manufactured drones designed for different professional uses for over seven years. Now the company has made a notable design and supply contract with the Danish QuadSAT. QuadSAT manufactures calibration technology for satellite antennas and is now expanding their business internationally.

– The contract is preceded by a collaboration between the companies in order to develop new technologies, which has lasted for over two years. Previously the devices of VideoDrone have been delivered to Finland as well as to Sweden, Latvia and Thailand, so the new contract with the Danish company shows considerable continuity for internationalization for the business, according to Pietari Sorri, the CEO of VideoDrone Finland.
At the same time, the company reforms its brand and changes its name to Nordic Drones Oy, meaning that VideoDrone becomes a trademark of the company in the same way as the GeoDrones and AgriDrones it manufactures.

VideoDrone has already helped over 100 organizations to utilize drones.

VideoDrone Finland has designed and delivered complete solutions and operational training for different technical aerial imaging purposes as well as for mapping, measuring and investigation purposes for over 100 businesses.

With the help of a drone aerial imaging and measuring offer unique opportunities to do things that were previously impossible or too expensive.

“Our customers use drones, for example, for civil engineering, ortho imaging, point clouds, agriculture, inspecting oil spills and other environmental disasters, investigating accidents and various monitoring purposes. Our customers include towns and cities, businesses, educational institutions, land surveying professionals as well as authorities and Finnish Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment ”, explains the founder of the company, Juhani Mikkola.

Earlier in spring, VideoDrone Finland Oy became partners with the capital investment company Midinvest Management Oy as the capital trust fund governed by Midinvest made a considerable investment in the company. In addition, the company hired a new CEO and an export coordinator. The company focuses especially on growth and export and aims to consolidate the company’s expertise by hiring more technological experts. The net revenue of VideoDrone Finland was 758 000 euros last year and is predicted to be about the same for this year.

How did VideoDrone Finland come to be?

The company’s development started as VideoDrone Finland in Juhani Mikkola’s garage. Mikkola took his first aerial photographs using a drone in spring 2011. That was when Mikkola built and flew drones merely as a hobby and for his own amusement. The devices were improved consistently over time. Juhani Mikkola’s appetite grew increasingly and before he knew it his hobby had become a business.

The big turn of events – “Big Bang”

The big turn of events happened on the 9th of July 2013 when there was a hazardous incident in the explosives factory in Vihtavuori, which led to the biggest evacuation operation in Finland since the times of war.

The authorities called Mikkola for help, and for the first time a drone was used to acquire an image of such an incident. Next week Juhani Mikkola’s phone was ringing constantly. People wanted to know where to buy a drone like that. That was when Mikkola first got the idea of manufacturing drones for commercial use. VideoDrone Finland Oy was founded in October 2013.

From VideoDrone to Nordic Drones Oy

The company has grown immensely since the dawn of its time. The manufacturing of drones is the handiwork of Finnish experts and the customizability is first-class. The company has also expanded its selection.

– “Today we produce copters and gimbals from carbon fibre and titanium. The parts are mostly 3D printed by 3D Formtech in Jyväskylä. In addition, we integrate different kinds of sensors, cameras and measuring tools manufactured by others. We are also resellers and trainers of the Pix4D software. A part of the software is also of our own production or made in collaboration with software companies”, Juhani Mikkola explains.

Changing the name is also part of the company’s growth strategy, which is meant to increase the promotion of the services provided by the company.

– Today the company is a drone manufacturer and competes especially with Chinese technology on the same market. The company doesn’t do aerial imaging itself anymore, so the name VideoDrone Finland is misleading and doesn’t support internationalization. Therefore, changing the name to Nordic Drones Oy is part of the company’s growth strategy. The name has been registered as the company’s auxiliary business name but now it’s changed as the official name of the company, Pietari Sorri tells.

EU regulation brings new challenges

In addition to increasing competition and developing technology, drone users and manufacturers are challenged with new EU regulations that will come into effect in 2021. It places drones under the aviation law, meaning that the various licenses and prerequisites will become more strict. In Finland, the new law will come into effect after the transition time, on 1.1.2022. Traficom will be in charge of the arrangements and overseeing the law.

– This will create a clear distinction between devices targeted for consumers and drones designed for professional use, according to Sorri.