Last year, I consulted for SpaceIL, an Israeli space start-up working to reach the moon and win $20 million through Google’s Lunar X-Prize (check out my past blog USC TAMID: A Consulting Organization for more information). While SpaceIL still has its sights on lunar soil, I have moved on to another Israeli start-up: Flytrex.
Flytrex specializes in drone development (check out: http://flytrex.com). Recently, the news has given drones increased attention. Amazon drones may one day ship your packages, and DJI, the biggest drone manufacturer, recently released the Inspire, a quadcopter that can gimble its propellers. Due to business goals, Flytrex has yet to receive the same attention as Amazon or DJI. Unlike these two companies, Flytrex works in a niche of the drone market: black boxes. Similar to airplane black boxes, Flytrex black boxes use GPS to record the flight of commercial drones. This recording can then be uploaded to a personal computer and overlaid upon Google Maps to better understand exactly where the drone traveled. Furthermore, Flytrex’s website allows users to upload their recorded drone flights to compare their adventures with those of others. Every so often, Flytrex will even sponsor competitions between its users, all recorded on the black boxes. Pretty neat!
Now, where do I (and my team) come in? According to many drone forums, Flytrex has created the best and most accurate drone black box on the market. But Flytrex still has room to grow both its business model and revenue. Via this partnership between USC TAMID and Flytrex, my consulting team will analyze the drone market, examine Flytrex’s greatest competitors, and advise Flytrex upon a profitable course of action.
Currently, my team is learning the ins and outs of the drone market through competitive analysis. Over the past several weeks, the team has performed research on drone companies big and small and compared their products to Flytrex. While no companies stand out as direct competitors to Flytrex, DJI’s grasp on the drone market is impressive and could limit Flytrex’s market reach. Because DJI manufacturers its own drones and all their components, DJI and its consumers would have no need for Flytrex’s black boxes. As DJI is the dominant drone player, Flytrex may need to expand beyond black boxes to reach a profitable share of the market.
This market expansion will be the next stage of my team’s work. Where can Flytrex expand in the drone market and be even more profitable? As of now, I still have no clue but cannot wait to share with you my eventual conclusions. Currently, my gut instinct involves partnering Flytrex with several other small start-ups to form a complete drone avionics corporation that can serve the needs of more experienced drone consumers. But only future research will reveal the correct course of action, so stay tuned!
I am very glad to be consulting again. Not only does consulting broaden my education, I just enjoy learning about business concepts and applying this knowledge to current markets. But on top of all that, I have loved the opportunity to help an Israeli start-up grow and mature. I wish nothing but the best for Flytrex, and I encourage you all to check them out!