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Universal mCloud set to expand Assetcare capability with acquisition of US drone firm

mCloud's technology provides tools for firms to monitor and analyse the health of equipment
Ascent makes unique "coaxial" unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for industrial, public safety and the military

Internet of Things and AI (artificial intelligence) group Universal mCloud Corp (CVE:MCLD)  shares rose on Wednesday after news yesterday it was set to bolster its offering by buying Ascent AeroSystems - a company, which makes drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), in a $6.55 million deal.

It will enable mCloud to provide its cloud-based AssetCare solutions to customers with assets in remote or inaccessible locations, it said.

mCloud's technology provides tools to monitor and analyse the health of equipment - or assets - such as an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) unit or a wind turbine.

Shares in Toronto on Wednesday are up 4.41% to $0.36. 

Accessing hard-to-reach assets

"The acquisition of Ascent will broaden mCloud's ability to access hard-to-reach assets, allowing us to capture the AI enhancing data that provides our customers with unique insights and solutions," said Russel McMeekin, mCloud's president and chief executive.

"Ascent's offering complements the capabilities gained from our recent acquisition of AI damage assessment provider NGRAIN.

"We believe that the integration of these two platforms will create a disruptive solution to critical asset management."

Ascent's technology will enable AI-powered visual inspections on assets, allowing for real-time monitoring of their physical condition at a fraction of the cost of traditional inspections, said mCloud.

"Our coaxial vehicles are inherently more rugged, adaptable and efficient than conventional multi-rotors, making them far more reliable in tough industrial environments where critical information needs to be collected," said Peter Fuchs, Ascent's co-founder and chief executive.

Ascent's drones are made in the USA and existing customers include Tier One and Tier Two aerospace and defence prime contractors, government agencies and commercial operators.

The consideration for the acquisition is $4.8M in shares plus $500,000 in cash on closing.

A further $1M in shares and $250,000 in cash is contingent on the achievement of future results.

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