Drones are one of the most revolutionary technological advancements to have emerged in recent decades, and they’ve influenced a surprising number of industries. Many innovative drone startups in Korea are looking to push for mass adoption. The commercial drone industry in Korea is one of the most rapidly growing industries. With new technologies improving every day, keeping track of all improvements would be impossible. Drones can reach places that people cannot and do so more efficiently because of their ability to scale large distances both vertically and horizontally. The potential for drones expanded dramatically as hardware improved to make them lighter, stronger, and quicker.

The Korean government has supported the drone industry for many years by setting up regulation-free zones and free air space for testing. These days, drones are being employed in a wide range of activities, including construction, photography, agriculture, defense, and a variety of other industries in Korea. With the innovation on display by these drone startups in Korea, it’s clear that the future for drones is bright. The power of drone technology is only as strong as the teams who create it. Here are some innovative drone startups in Korea to check out.

Drone Startups to Watch in South Korea


Drones in Korea

PABLO AIR is a drone startup in Korea that has developed two drones that are gaining a lot of attention in the industry. The drones are called BlueBird and BigBird. The BlueBird is a long-range drone that can fly for up to 100 minutes with a load of less than 3kg. BigBird is a short-distance drone that can fly for up to 25 minutes with a load of less than 10kg. However, their business is not only in drone delivery but also in the ground control system/platform. Their platform is called PAMNet and it is a platform software with a web-based ground control system composed of technologies that support:

  • 1:N multi-collision avoidance
  • automatic optimization of flight paths
  • multiple & diverse types of concurrent control
  • cross-platform control

PALBO AIR was selected as a delivery service provider and performed Korea’s first urban drone delivery in Incheon. Moreover, their aim for 2022 is to develop a create drones that comply with US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. This will help them break into the US market to promote logistics and medical drone delivery.



COCODRONE provides facility safety diagnosis, surveying, and 3D mapping solutions using Intel Falcon 8+ industrial drones, and provides training for ultra-light flight device operators and map operators based on flight experience accumulated in the field. Therefore they focus mainly on providing industrial drone solutions and B2B on-demand services specialized for facility safety inspection, surveying, and mapping using drones in industrial sites.

The startup utilizes the Intel Falcon 8+ and DJI industrial drone systems to provide facility safety diagnoses, 3D mapping, surveying, unmanned multicopter production/maintenance, aerial photography solutions, and national certification training for ultra-light flying devices.



Korean startup Nearthlab is the creator of an autonomous drone solution that collects data required at industrial sites in a faster and more accurate way. They focus on drone data and use drones to provide meaningful data for wind turbine inspection. Using Nearthlab’s solution, one wind turbine can be fully inspected in about 15 minutes. Therefore their autonomous drones can reduce inspection time, increase safety, and get detailed measurements/data. In addition, they offer a cloud-based data analysis portal as part of their autonomous drone solution. Furthermore, all the pictures taken by the drone are uploaded to a server that can be managed online.

NearthLab raised $6 million for their Series B round from SBI Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Company K-Partners, Nau B Capital, Future Play, Shinhan Capital, and E & Ventures. In total, they have raised a little over $9 million to date. Furthermore, their portfolio spans wind energy, oil & gas, railways, bridges, dams, and telecom towers. In addition, the leading energy corporations have selected Nearthlab as their autonomous drone solution provider.


Astro X

AstroX is a startup in Korea that produces drones for professional drone racing and has dealers in 13 nations. Therefore, it has created long-range industrial vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones that can fly for more than an hour and a half, and it is readying to enter industrial and military drone markets. Daewoo Engineering and Construction acquired 30% of AstroX, as part of its “Build Together Startups” program. They will work together to develop industrial and military drones. In addition, they aim to develop an integrated drone management system. A system that can be used in a variety of situations such as disaster support, traffic monitoring, and fire control.



Meissa is a smart construction startup promoting construction innovation through drones and ICT. They integrate every procedure needed to utilize drones on construction sites. This includes filming, analyzing, and utilizing the data collected. In addition, Meissa was the first startup in Korea to develop a 3D reconstruction engine that converts 2D images into 3D ones. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) acquired 20% of Meissa in 2021.


Drone startups in Korea

SOOMVI is a drone startup that specializes in rescuing those at sea. Their drones developed with the help of SK Telecom have advantages over prior versions such as being faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Therefore, thanks to SK, the drones developed are connected to an LTE network and are uninhibited by long distances. Its control center is a refurbished 5-ton container truck. The truck is filled with advanced communications and video systems. Therefore, they can receive transmissions without using an outside server to communicate with the drones. SOOMVI made a partnership with the city of Incheon. Therefore they will provide drones for reconnaissance missions that will find information about air pollution and locate waters for fishing.


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