Aberdeen drone operator takes off thanks to investment

Left to right: Kieran Hope (ACE managing director), Brian McMurray (AAB's head of equity funding) and Blair Nichols (ACE chief technology officer). Picture: Contributed
Left to right: Kieran Hope (ACE managing director), Brian McMurray (AAB's head of equity funding) and Blair Nichols (ACE chief technology officer). Picture: Contributed
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An Aberdeen-based company that uses drones for inspection work has secured significant investment to support its growth thanks to the efforts of Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), the accountancy and business advisory practice.

Air Control Entech (ACE) was founded by managing director Kieran Hope in 2016 to revolutionise the way inspection work is carried out.

Through his experience of the offshore inspection market, Hope identified that off-the-shelf unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were not fit for purpose in the often harsh offshore environment where safety is critical.

ACE has developed its state-of-the-art fleet supported by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, which has provided project and field trial funding as well as access to operating and inspection companies.

Brian McMurray and Michael Edwards of AAB’s corporate finance team worked with Hope and the team at ACE to deliver fundraising advice, introduce potential investors and ultimately secure the desired investment.

McMurray, head of equity finance, said: “We are delighted to have secured the investment needed to accelerate the growth of ACE. Having worked closely with Kieran and his team during this process, we look forward to continuing the relationship and supporting ACE in becoming a leading Scottish UAV business, servicing clients worldwide.”

Hope added: “This investment will enable ACE to continue to scale quickly, and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with AAB.”