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Before I began working for you folks, I served as a senior advisor to a dozen tech startups and sat on the board of a Silicon Valley venture capital (VC) firm.
And when it comes to finding profit-producing tech investments before mainstream stock analysts do, that gives me a leg up on Wall Street.
In fact, it gives me a "secret" method.
Besides following the stock market and keeping my ear to the ground here in Silicon Valley, I spend hours each week intensely studying VC funding.
That's because those early-stage investors have a proven track record of backing tech breakthroughs that eventually lead to lucrative profits for Main Street investors like you.
Today, we're going to look at a burgeoning tech sector that drew roughly $200 million in VC funding through early March.
At that rate, startups in this sector are on pace to receive nearly $800 million in seed money this year.
That's a lot – and it's worth following.
So I'm going to tell you about four primo startups in this sector that are big 2017 VC winners.
"But, Michael," I hear you saying. "These are privately held startups. I can't invest in them."
That's why I'm also revealing a great way to play this fast-growing market you can get into today.
One Heck of an Unstoppable Trend
I'm talking about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – or drones.
Drones have become a major growth area simply because their uses are nearly endless. Besides their well-known uses in spycraft and warfare, UAVs can be used for remote monitoring of assets like pipe and rail lines, farming, video and photography, and delivery of products and medical supplies.
And kids (and grownup hobbyists, too) love to play with them.
Indeed, we're at an inflection point on this unstoppable trend.
Spending on commercial and industrial drones is just about set to outpace military and intelligence spending.
Forecasters at the Teal Group say roughly $93 billion will be invested over the next decade on the commercial side, along with $30 billion from defense. Drone sales over the period will reach $14 billion a year by the mid-2020s – more than triple the $4 billion market size in 2015.
Now, let's head deep into the world of VC-funded startups.
Here are four early-stage UAV firms to keep an eye on…
Drone Startup Winner No. 1: AirMap
If there's a "winner" of the VC drone sweepstakes, it's AirMap Inc.
This Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm has 50 employees and has raised $43 million in VC to date.
But that's not the "real" reason it's the winner.
It's because of the heavyweight tech leaders backing it.
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) recently invested in this airspace navigation software startup. Considering the might that Microsoft carries in the software space, that's a pretty big vote of confidence for AirMap's advanced drone platform, known as computati…
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.