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SA drone startup that netted R1.1m via Indiegogo reveals its sold 12 000 release systems


SA startup Gannet — which last week announced that it had raised $77 350 (over R1.1-million) in an Indiegogo campaign — has revealed that it has so far sold 12 000 release systems for drone fishing around the world since 2016.

The startup, which was founded in 2016 by Jacques Venter and specialises in drone fishing, claims to be the world leader in release mechanisms for consumer drones.

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Release mechanisms enable drones to carry and release payloads — or in this instance, to carry and release fishing line with bait on it out to sea. Basically you don’t ever need to cast a fishing line again.

The startup’s chief marketing officer, Brett Eagle, declined to disclose what the company’s revenue is when questioned by Ventureburn, but was able to say that the company has so far sold 12 000 release systems and has over 20 distributors around the world.

Gannet, which was founded by Jacques Venter in 2016, specialises in drone fishing

“This is our first drone, we have cherry-picked the world’s best components from various suppliers and added our proprietary designs and features in order to make sure it is a success,” Eagle said.

He said from inception Venter has “completely self-funded” Gannet, without revealing how much he had committed of his own money. He said the startup has 13 employees.

The campaign was fully funded within an hour of the launch, with the $77,350 being contributed by 82 backers.

By taking part in the campaign, participants effectively are able to benefit by getting a drone at its discounted sale price, the startup is able to secure upfront payment which allows it to order bulk components.

Eagle said the company ran the campaign on Indiegogo as a marketing exercise to maximise exposure for its new Gannet Pro drones.

Last week the startup said Gannet Pro-Drone is on sale for a 30% reduced price of R16 216, adding that backer of the Indiegogo campaign will start receiving orders next month.

It said the Gannet Drone is fully waterproof and capable of flying and releasing payloads of up to 3.5kg with the patent-pending X-Sport release system.

It further allows anglers to drop bait or life-saving devices several hundred yards out in a matter of seconds.

Read more: SA drone startups, companies look overseas to shore up business

Featured image: Gannet founder Jacques Venter (Supplied)

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