Tampa entrepreneur creates online payment, profile system for drone pilots

Bobby Quinn is officially kicking off his alpha phase today for an online platform that allows drone pilots to display and sell their content behind a paywall. 

Quinn, who is a drone pilot and served in the military for 13 years and two years as a contractor, formed the company in 2018. The plan was to create a dual-facing portfolio and paywall system for drone pilots, wherein they could share and sell their images and 3D models. 

PayPixel. Company photo.

“When I got out of the military, I was in the reserves and had the flexibility to create my own aerial drone company. Two years in, I realized the drone businesses were taking over and I couldn’t compete with them any more,” Quinn said.

He flew drones for the US Navy’s Special Surveillance Program.

“I experienced the problems other aerial photographers deal with. It’s such a mess, and pilots use six or more apps to solve issues and connect with customers. I wanted to make it easier for pilots to create really cool, professional portfolios and be able to share those on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook,” Quinn said.

“Today, if I post a video as a creator, I have to think about where that video is being shared and responses. There’s a broken process though, it’s hard to respond to potential clients to do an order. We are creating a place for pilots to upload their videos in one spot.” 

Today, aerial photography captured by drones is commonly used for roads, mapping and real estate. Drone pilots typically use Dropbox or Google Drive to share images with customers; however, Quinn said his platform keeps track of a pilot’s transactions and a client’s previous orders. There’s also a messaging system so pilots and consumers can discuss orders or quotes for projects.

CEO Bobby Quinn is on a hike with the two individuals who could become the co-founders of PayPixel.

“We’ve been talking with pilots about what’s going to work, what are their pains and we have been validating our product,” Quinn said.

PayPixel is a member of Embarc Collective in Tampa. The company has a total of seven members, including the co-founders. Quinn wrote a piece on how he met the two co-founders while on a hike in Denver. 

To date, PayPixel, which has previously rebranded, has raised $300,000. Once the company starts earning revenue, Quinn said he’d like to raise a couple of million dollars and grow the team. 

PayPixel has 400 pre-registered users. 

There are two fees for the platform – a platform fee and a transaction fee.   

PayPixel estimates it will generate $980 a year per pilot if there’s an average of four orders a month. 

The 12-month goal is to have 1,200 active pilots and generate $1 million in annual revenue. 

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