Copley backs recap, merger of Aethon and Flight Evolved

Copley Equity Partners has made an investment to back the recapitalization and merger of two aerial inspection companies Aethon Aerial Solutions and Flight Evolved.

Copley Equity Partners has made an investment to back the recapitalization and merger of two aerial inspection companies, Toronto-based Aethon Aerial Solutions and San Diego-based Flight Evolved. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON & SAN DIEGO & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Copley Equity Partners today announced that it has completed an investment to recapitalize, and facilitate the merger of, Aethon Aerial Solutions and Flight Evolved. The combination of Aethon and Flight Evolved creates one of the most technologically advanced aerial inspection companies dedicated to asset management for utilities in North America. As leading providers of these services to multiple U.S. and international utilities, the two companies have collectively inspected over 200,000 utility structures year-to-date in 2020.

Peter Trovato, Managing Director at Copley Equity, stated, “Our investment in Aethon and Flight Evolved comes after a multi-year review of this sector by our firm. During that period, we identified Aethon and Flight Evolved as market-leading companies and we’re excited to start our partnership.” Trovato added, “Utility companies, and other energy infrastructure stakeholders, have an increased focus on safety and regulatory compliance. Aethon and Flight Evolved provide the most effective, and efficient, solutions to these customers via airborne remote sensing and drone technology. We are thrilled to support the Aethon and Flight Evolved teams and help build a significant platform for global growth.”

By combining Aethon Aerial Solutions’ progressive approach to helicopter-based aerial inspections and mapping with Flight Evolved’s innovative UAV solutions and software development, the combined company will now address the full spectrum of a utility company’s needs for asset inspection and management. Combining advanced imaging and LiDAR technology, spatial data and machine learning, the companies generate critical business intelligence from remotely sensed 3D data. This combination of data and software analytics ensures the reliable delivery of power, improved maintenance of crucial infrastructure, and reduces the risk of wildfires and related outages.

“The financing provided by Copley Equity Partners has allowed Aethon Aerial Solutions and Flight Evolved to create a technologically advanced business platform that will extend the reach of our combined offerings to a growing base of U.S. and international clients,” said Alastair Jenkins, CEO, Aethon Aerial Solutions. “The investment of growth capital will allow us to effectively integrate new technology and select services from like-minded businesses into our proprietary cloud-based business solutions.”

“To mitigate fire risk and ensure regulatory compliance, utility companies worldwide are leveraging aerial inspection systems, both UAVs and helicopters, to monitor and inspect their geographically dispersed assets,” said Jordan Rising, CTO, Flight Evolved. “Our combined solutions enable our clients to achieve significant productivity improvements safely and efficiently.”

ABOUT COPLEY EQUITY PARTNERS
Established in 2012, Copley is a private investment firm with offices in Boston and Denver. Copley focuses on partnering with growing, lower-middle market private companies. The firm invests out of an evergreen, single family office capital base and is comfortable in both majority and minority ownership positions. The firm makes investments across a broad range of sectors to help businesses fuel growth, manage risk, and create enduring value.

ABOUT AETHON AERIAL SOLUTIONS INC
Established in 2016 by a group of industry veterans, each with over 20 years of expertise in aerial remote sensing and data analysis, Aethon Aerial Solutions has achieved rapid growth in the aerial inspection, data analytics, and UAV industries. Using proprietary technology and a unique and scalable business model based on cloud-based processing and artificial intelligence, they have provided services to utilities in California, Australia, and Canada to reduce fire risks, improve infrastructure performance, and increase safety, while reducing maintenance costs.

ABOUT FLIGHT EVOLVED LLC
Established in 2015, Flight Evolved has rapidly become an industry leader in the remote sensing industry with an innovative approach to leveraging UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), helicopter-borne sensor systems, and powerful data analysis software. The Flight Evolved team has expanded its operations across the United States with a diverse team from backgrounds in traditional commercial aviation, utility engineering, and geospatial analysis. Flight Evolved has been able to provide a unique product focused on reducing fire risk through actionable insights to their client’s infrastructure.