microdrones owner mdgroup buys lidar specialist geocue

Convergence in the high-end mapping and 3D-modeling drone services segment is afoot with the acquisition of LiDAR tech specialist GeoCue by the mdGroup, owner of Germany-based Microdrones.

The move aims to consolidate GeoCue’s activities alongside similar drone mapping and data collection work of mdGroup businesses. At the same time, it seeks to open the potential for expansion by the acquired company into Europe in cooperation with its new corporate cousin, Microdrones.

Alabama-based GeoCue’s primary hardware product, TrueView 3DIS, can be mounted on any rotary drone system for LiDAR and camera sensor data collection, as well as photogrammetric measurements taken on the same flights. As a manufacturer and supplier of industrial-grade survey equipment offering fully integrated geospatial workflows, meanwhile, Microdrone represents an ideal partner through whom GeoCue’s UAV tech may be marketed to European clients. 

“This further establishes mdGroup as the go-to provider of industrial-grade, high quality and Western-made aerial surveying equipment and software,” said mdGroup CFO Francois Gerner. “In the medium- to long-term, mdGroup expects customers of both companies to benefit from the outcome of GeoCue and Microdrones collaboration in the technical field.”

Announced this week for an undisclosed sum between mdGroup and GeoCue’s founders, the transaction was described by officials as a pooling of the respective units’ technological strengths, and reinforcement of overall corporate structure.

As part of that that, Microdrone’s high-end surveying UAV photogrammetric measurement tools and data interpretation packages will continue to be independently operated and marketed parallel to GeoCue’s US-focused operations. The latter are based on the company’s TrueView line of drone LiDAR Imaging sensors, and TrueView EVO/LP360 data processing software. 

That separate-but-allied arrangement, executives say, will ensure operational continuity and client service, while creating the potential for expansion in the future through collaboration between all mdGroup affiliates.

“Both companies will continue to serve customers as they have come to trust and expect,” explained Frank Darmayan, mdGroup COO. “They can choose Microdrones fully-integrated survey equipment and the mdInfinity cloud data processing platform or GeoCue LiDAR payloads and EVO/LP360 data processing desktop software.”

The purchase and addition of GeoCue to the existing mdGroup stable was another step by the company to provide a full range of end-to-end drone based services for data clients. It also has the advantage of strengthening the group’s US portfolio in a way that may potentially bolster its activity in Europe – where most of its founders acquired their formative UAV and business expertise, and where mapping, surveying, and modelling activity is booming.

“With this acquisition, we are positioned to respond to increasing demand for drone enabled precision deliverables,” said mdGroup CEO Vivien Heriard-Dubreuil. “This includes classified and colorized point clouds, volume calculation, and contour maps.”


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