As many as 200 shops of the hip American chain Urban Outfitters will soon sell a drone developed by a Twente based company TRNDlabs. TRDNDlabs, a young company from Rijssen, discovered a marketopportunity and developed a simple and affordable drone.
The 27-year-old entrepreneur Gerard Nieuwenhuis studied both on Saxion and the University of Twente. As a student he started an webshop for iPhone cables, covers and bluetooth speakers. In order to achieve larger margins, he developed the first drone. Albert van der Maat, an expert in the field of design and photography, was responsible for the design of the drone. Together, they founded their business TRNDlabs.
The Skeye Mini Drone is a helicopter with four wings, that is able to fly for nine minutes. In addition, the gadget is equipped with a camera of 2 megapixels. That is relatively low, but the price is striking: 99,- dollars. TRNDlabs also developed a cheaper version without camera for half the price, the Skeye Nano Drone.
Despite the fast growing popularity of drones, the young company has few competitors. “The drones of our competitors either cost hundreds of euros and are made for professional photographers, or you can purchase them only in model shops,” Nieuwenhuis explains their success. “We are targeting on a different audience: middle incomes who are interested in gadgets and technology. The purchase of a drone must be an impulse purchase. That is why we choose this approach and this amount.
The sales figures of the drones are excellent: more than 30,000 TRNDlabs nano drone were sold worldwide. The demand from the US is huge, but also Asia, Japan, Britain and Australia are very interested in the drone of the Dutch brothers. Their latest success is that US chain store Urban Outfitters will sell the Dutch drones in as many as 200 stores throughout the US. And a major brand has already been knocking on the door: the French Gallery Lafayette.
The drones are sold through distribution centers in the US, the Chinese Shenzhen and Enschede. The different types and accessories can be ordered in the webshop, in a wide range of trendy shops and webstores. TRNDlabs is now working on a larger drone, equipped with a 5 megapixel camera. This new version should be in stores by Christmas. And a new idea has already raised: a Wi-Fi connection to the smartphone. TRNDlabs expect to grow substantially in the next few months. Last year, the retail numbers tripled. “We are growing so fast, it’s hard to keep up,” said Nieuwenhuis.