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Drones Could Drive More Growth for Axon

By Travis Hoium - Mar 15, 2021 at 11:17AM

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Drones will bolster Axon's position in the first responder market.

Axon (AXON -0.57%) continues to build on its platform of software and services for law enforcement and first responders, and it has added another potential growth partner with drone maker Skydio. The two companies will offer Skydio's products to Axon customers, but it's the long-term integration of drones into the Axon ecosystem that could be the true value add. 

This isn't the first drone product Axon has offered. Two years ago, it partnered with DJI to offer products through Axon Air. But this could be a more integrated partnership and a value-added tool for Axon's customers. 

Skydio drone being used by Axon.

Image source: Axon.

Axon's growing drone business

The partnership with Skydio is initially going to be a reseller agreement for drones, and Axon will be the digital evidence management partner for Skydio's public safety products.

Video from drones will flow into in Axon's evidence gathering platform, Axon Evidence, and 3D scans from the drones will bring more usable evidence into the system. 

Drones take Axon to another level

The idea of adding drones to the Axon portfolio is that it'll be an incremental product to add for customers to the Axon portfolio. And Skydio's drones can fly autonomously and in time will stream live images back to a command location to help law enforcement and first responders. 

Drones are easier than ever to have in the portfolio, too. Since Axon started offering drone products, the size of drones has come down dramatically. Skydio 2 is less than a foot long and weighs just 1.7 pounds. That's small enough to fit in any first responder's vehicle, and launch can be done at a moment's notice.

A real-time data source

This will continue to push Axon's value as a real-time tool for law enforcement and first responders. If you think about the company's products over the last decade, it started with tasers, added cameras that needed to be docked to extract data, and then introduced wireless data backup. But live streaming is really the future. 

Wireless connections are now being offered on some body cameras, and adding live drone footage can be a valuable tool for all kinds of first responders. This could even expand Axon's footprint into more fire and rescue operations, beyond primarily being a tool for police officers and law enforcement. 

What these real-time services do for Axon is increase the value of newer products like Axon Respond, another recent addition to the Axon ecosystem. The company is expanding its reach in the first responder market with more and more products, and drones are a great way to make that ecosystem more valuable.

Axon's growth streak set to continue

What Axon is building is an impressive ecosystem of hardware and software that should ultimately drive a very profitable business. You can see below that the company has grown steadily over the past decade as its product lineup has grown. This is the next phase of that growth, and margins continue to be impressive at over 60%. 

AXON Revenue (TTM) Chart

AXON Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts. TTM = trailing 12-months.

Given how ingrained Axon's software is becoming for law enforcement and first responders, this continues to be one of my top growth stocks, and I think its great run on the market will continue. 

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