Droneshield: Defending against the modern horrors of war, with CEO Oleg Vornik

It must be a uniquely modern horror to see a drone flying towards you with a grenade strapped, and it must be all the worse to know your last moments are being filmed.

Drones are now ubiquitous across the battlefields of Ukraine, Gaza, and shipping lanes in the Middle East. Costing relative pittances, cheap drones loaded with explosives can destroy military hardware worth millions, or in the case of ships, billions of dollars.

They can combine in swarms to overwhelm even the most advanced defence systems, and mask deadlier missiles and weaponry. 

This new asymmetry has changed the battlefield, so it was timely to sit down with Oleg Vornik, CEO of Droneshield, to discuss how their technology can detect and disable these deadly low-cost swarms. 

There are handheld versions sold to soldiers and spies, larger systems for tanks and ships, and larger systems still with a broader range of senses for airfields, bases, and civilian sites like prisons and airports.

Drones can be shot down with guns, caught in a net by other drones, or destroyed by high-tech lasers and microwaves. Droneshield specializes in defending against cheap drones that are causing so much havoc by jamming their communications and forcing them down. 

With the world seemingly in flames it’s not surprising that Droneshield’s growth has been explosive. Revenues jumped from $17m in 2023, to $55 million in 2024, and could reach over $90 million in 2025. 

The opportunity is substantial, perhaps less than 1% penetrated globally, as most military units around the world are entirely undefended.

Detection and monitoring is playing an increasing part of Droneshield's business, as their software can track and monitor drones across an entire battlefield. 

The civilian opportunity is perhaps even greater. 

Drone sightings closed Gatwick airport for three days in December 2018, and the perpetrators were never discovered. Prisons, powerplants, architectural sites like Sydney Opera House are exposed. 

I personally know people who have seen drones flying over their homes, and are concerned these could be theives testing whether anyone is in, or God forbid, photographing children. 

There's a good chance within a few years that anti-drone technology is as ubiquitous as drones themselves are today, and Droneshield is particularly well positioned given its ability to defend against commercially available models that can be bought in-store in all major cities and ordered online from Amazon and Alibaba to almost anywhere in the world. 

Oleg shared some fascinating anecdotes around their use in the military, prisons, and when Droneshield's technology defended political leaders from attack.

I'm sure you'll find this conversation as interesting as I did!

Michael 

Timestamps
0:03 – Oleg introduces DroneShield
1:02 – How it works
2:10 – Autonomous drones and AI on the modern battlefield – how Droneshield fits in
11:02 – Droneshield’s products
22:16 – Additional use cases for DroneShield products
23:37 – The different ways to destroy a drone
30:49 – Future of drone warfare and Droneshield’s product pipeline
37:55 – Partnering with US and Australian defence agencies
43:36 – The civilian opportunity, prisons, airfields, stadiums
49:00 – Manufacturing of DroneShield products
50:46 – Financial overview and the investment case

Frazpod #67 – Clarity Pharma, Curvebeam AI, Transmedics and AMD

  1. Clarity Pharmaceuticals Success:

    • Clarity Pharmaceuticals reported a significant response in a patient with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer.
    • The patient received two cycles of copper 67 Biss. PSMA, and after six months from the second dose, there was no evidence of PSA, indicating a potential cure.
    • This is noteworthy because the patient had undergone extensive prior treatments, including chemotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy.
  2. Trial Progress and Market Potential:

    • Clarity Pharmaceuticals has been releasing data as each cohort progresses in their trial, currently in the fourth cohort of phase one.
    • The market potential for effective prostate cancer treatment is significant, estimated at over $6 billion.
    • The company's stock is trading at around $650 million, with considerable interest from both investors and pharmaceutical companies due to the promising trial results.
  3. Director Confidence and Financials:

    • Directors have shown confidence in the company by purchasing stock with cash, signaling belief in the company's prospects.
    • Clarity Pharmaceuticals has a substantial cash reserve of $150 million AUD, providing a strong financial position for future trials and developments.
  4. Curve Beam AI Progress:

    • Curve Beam AI reported progress with six device sales and orders for five more devices in one month, indicating a potential annual run rate of 60.
    • The company is working on expanding its device's approved usage beyond foot and ankle to include hip and knee, which could significantly increase its market potential.
  5. Financial Challenges and Future Prospects:

    • Curve Beam AI faces financial constraints with approximately $11.8 million in cash, expecting to last until September 2023.
    • The company's success relies on increasing its installed base to maximize revenue from software updates and future developments.
  6. Trans Medics' Strong Performance:

    • Trans Medics reported a 133% increase in revenue compared to the previous year, with $12 million in net income for the quarter.
    • The company's profitability amidst significant revenue growth highlights the effectiveness of its platform and pricing power.
  7. Market Trends and Risk Management:

    • Market trends show a divergence between companies with strong performance like Trans Medics and those with weaker results like AMD.
    • Applying quantitative risk management strategies can reduce drawdowns and optimize returns, as demonstrated by Trans Medics' performance.
  8. Comparison with AMD:

    • AMD reported declines in gaming and embedded segment revenue, highlighting the importance of sticking with market leaders like Nvidia.
    • Nvidia's consistent growth and profitability contrast with AMD's weaker financial performance, emphasizing the benefits of choosing market leaders.
  9. Conclusion:

    • The podcast concludes with reflections on the updates from Clarity Pharmaceuticals, Curve Beam AI, Trans Medics, and AMD, highlighting the importance of strategic investment decisions and risk management strategies in navigating the market.