This East Falls startup, makers of an automated drone hub, raised $1M

Asylon makes an autonomous system that lets drones swoop down on a station, get fresh batteries and sync their data to the cloud. Plus, what's it like to build a drone startup in Philly?

Where are the high earners in Delaware? (Photo by David Son with Creative Commons license)

With drones poised to play a starring role in automating industries like agriculture and construction, the infrastructure that accompanies the flying gizmos needs to be able to keep up.

That’s the driving premise behind Asylon, an East Falls startup working to bring more efficiency to industrial drone operations. The startup, founded in 2015, quietly raised $1 million of “pre-seed” capital last fall to ramp up its operations and push its integrated product, DroneCore, further to market.

“Airlines don’t just own aircraft, they also own about 100 other pieces of support equipment,” said CEO and founder Damon Henry. “We thought drones won’t be the exception and built an infrastructure for drones.”

Last year, we learned of Asylon as the makers of Drone Home, which automated battery replacement through a robotic arm. Now, with DroneCore, the company’s making a more complete sell to customers in the security space, with automated video uploads to the cloud and an artificial intelligence component.

Here’s the company’s sales pitch, in cinematic form:

“Up until now we’ve been focused on the technology,” Henry said. “But now we’ve hit our MVP and made progress last year with driving larger end users, so now we’re deploying funds to scale up operations.”

What’s ultimately helping to make the sale? A promise of 50 minutes on the hour of real-time video surveillance, which Henry says is a better metric than the competition.

Manufacturing of the platform is all done in house, out of an East Falls office where the company’s team of eight is based. By the end of the year the company plans to grow to around 12 staffers.

So, what’s it like to be a drone startup in Philadelphia, a city most often associated with cheesesteaks B2B software companies?

“I was slightly worried when we started a drone company here,” Henry said. “Obviously Penn has a big presence and although we didn’t know too much, as we built up we realized there’s a dozen different drone or closely related companies in the area. We’ve grown tight and collaborative with each other. Philly is the drone hub that nobody knows, including ourselves sometimes.”

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


The Trump rally shooter perched on a building owned by American Glass Research. Here’s everything we know about it.

Philadelphia Police are investigating vandalism at the home of a Ghost Robotics exec and the company’s Penn HQ

Quantum computing could be the next hot tech — if only that breakthrough would come

$640M in VC money poured into Philly last quarter, signaling a stable local market

Technically Media