Aerones is a leading startup in the wind turbine maintenance industry. They started out as a drone-centric startup, using the flexibility, automation, and maneuverability of innovative heavy-life drones to clean and inspect wind turbines.
But as the startup matured, they realized that drones alone were not the optimal tool for the work they were doing. They developed new, robotized winch systems, which in turn led to increased precision and added new functionalities to their service menu.
This coincided with a funding round of $1.6M and, a few months later, a secured grant of 2.5M euro. The Truesix team helped Aerones announce their funding in key mass and niche media, as well as make their product known in the off-shore wind turbine market, which had not yet been uncovered and was key to further business growth.
Aerones was well known for their patented heavy-lift drones. All things being said and done, they were known as a drone startup, through and through. The coverage they had previously received was in the drone niche, by drone-focused journalists, winning drone-based awards. You get the picture.
How, then, do you refocus the narrative to a different industry, while maintaining the previously hard-earned traction? It meant entering an entirely new market with a different audience, both in terms of clients and media. What's more, the funding of $1.6M, while impressive in and of itself, is not necessarily an amount that journalists get really excited about. We'd have to dig deeper to find our newsworthiness.
Aerones had a few things going for them. For one – they were YC alumni. This speaks of a certain level of quality, as well as expectations towards the founders and their potential. Second – they had the element of surprise on their side. By announcing that they were abandoning their drone focus, it was inevitable that they would raise some eyebrows. Third – they had a funding round in their pockets. This is one of the most dependable ways for startups to gain media attention. Put it all together, and we had a solid, eye-catching headline:
YC-backed Aerones raises $1.6M and drops the drones
We then put together two separate media lists – targets for our message. One was the startup industry that knows Aerones well and would be excited about the pivot and the funding. The other was the niche renewable energy space, which knows of Aerones, but only in their limited heavy-lift drone capacity.
Crucially, we reached out to journalists who had previously covered Aerones and are following their stories. This garnered media attention in the likes of TechCrunch and Tech.eu. Meanwhile renewable energy platforms were also ready to break the news – like Windpowered Engineering, which were interested in the robotics element of the story.
A few months later, with the news of an attracted grant of 2.5M euro, we were able to build out on those initial renewable energy media contacts and expand on Aerones' plans – this time to enter the off-shore wind turbine maintenance space – a highly niche and specialized industry.
Aerones made a splash with its news, landing in revered media such a TechCrunch, Tech.eu, and Yahoo Finance, as well as conquering the hearts and attention of the very niche wind and offshore wind maintenance industry. Together, the campaigns garnered over 50 earned media placements.
Aerones has gone on to become a serious participant in the wind turbine maintenance industry, and have raised an additional $9M in funding. We're thrilled to have helped lay the groundwork for this startup's continued success.