The drone industry is only just beginning to take off. Last year, two-thirds of deals were seed or early-stage rounds.
This past quarter saw several large deals to high-flying drone startups such as Airware ($30M Series C), Skydio ($25M Series A), and Delair-Tech ($14.5M). Despite these notable rounds, however, the quarterly financing total was the lowest for drone funding since Q1’15.
Activity remained robust, with 21 deals in Q1’16, the third quarter in a row in which activity broke the 20-deal mark.
Annual financing history
The annual picture illustrates just how much drone funding has soared. 2015 saw a significant jump, with $454M in funding over 74 deals. Year-over-year, that translates to an impressive 301% jump in funding, and 95% growth in deal volume.
Quarterly financing history
With the annual trend showing nearly hockey stick-type growth, expectations may have been high for the Q1’16 funding tally. Deal volume did continue to be healthy at 21 deals, but funding slipped to $91M, a 33% drop from the prior quarter (while still 32% higher than the same quarter a year ago).
Other Q1’16 notable deals besides those mentioned above included Sky-Future‘s $5.7M Series A, along with Drone Racing League‘s $5.6M Series A. But the quarter only saw 2 deals to drone startups of $20M or more in size, compared to 7 the previous quarter.
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