Lyonnais Elistair drones open a subsidiary in Boston


Elistair, a Lyon-based company specializing in wired drones, has just announced the opening of a subsidiary in Boston to boost its sales in the United States.

The designer and manufacturer of wired drones Elistair has opened its first foreign subsidiary in Boston, to facilitate dialogue with its American customers, who already generate more than 30% of its sales. ”  Our customers in the United States, where we have grown rapidly, regularly expressed the need to have contacts on site “, explains the co-founder of the company Guilhem de Marliave. Thanks to this structure, which currently employs two people, the company in Dardilly, in the Lyon suburbs, intends to increase the share of its sales made in the United States to 50% within two years.

A company of around forty people, Elistair does not communicate on the level of its turnover, but claims to have experienced growth in its activity of around 50% for several years. Founded at the end of 2014 by Guilhem de Marliave and one of his comrades from the École centrale de Lyon Timothée Penet, Elistair specializes in wired drones, i.e. connected by a cable to the ground. This cable is used to supply electricity to the drone, which can thus carry out its mission for hours, instead of half an hour for battery-powered devices. It is also used to retrieve the information generated by the cameras and sensors on board the drone. Elistair’s devices are mainly used for surveillance and security missions or to re-establish interrupted communications (by serving as a temporary relay antenna). The company sells both complete drones and “kits” to transform a standard drone into a wired drone. These two activities weigh the same overall in the group’s activity.


Drones for armies, civil security and private companies

Since its inception, the company has sold 600 drones and kits, at prices ranging from a few thousand euros to a few tens of thousands of euros. One third of its sales are made to the armed forces, one third to civil security (firefighters, etc.) and one third to various customers (private security companies, manufacturers, etc.). ”  Special forces are a big subject for us “, notes Guilhem de Marliave, who notes that his company is constantly improving its products to “harden” them for military use, by making them more robust and reliable. Elistair, which moved into its new premises in June, increasing from 400 to 800 square meters, assembles its drones itself. 95% of its components are purchased in France and Germany.

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