2015 is shaping up to be a breakout year for drone investment, as drone startups have already raised $172M in equity financing this year – more than the previous three years combined.
Drone companies raised $68.4M in Q1’15 across a quarterly-high of 13 deals, and have already raised $103.8M across 11 deals thus far in Q2’15. The deals have to come to mostly early-stage companies, but there have been a handful of large financing rounds as well. A $75M financing to DJI Innovations which valued the drone manufacturer at $10B and put it on the list of unicorn companies was perhaps the most notable recent transaction. The cumulative $64M Series C financing to 3D Robotics was also another major driver of the funding.
Overall, funding in 2015 YTD is up 61% YoY.
No drone company has raised more funding than 3D Robotics, as the UAV manufacturer and developer has raised a total of $99M from investors including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Maveron, Foundry Group, and Qualcomm.
DJI Innovations, the largest consumer drone manufacturer in the world, has raised $75M in disclosed funding, and recently raised at a $10B valuation from Accel Partners, with the two entities creating a $10M joint fund to invest in drone technology called the SkyFund. There are rumors that Sequoia Capital was an earlier investor in DJI so that undisclosed financing may also push DJI ahead of 3D Robotics.
Airware, a company which provides operating systems and enterprise technology for drones, rounds out the top 3, with just over $40M raised, from Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, and First Round Capital, among others.
Overall, just 10 drone companies have raised $10M or more.
|Company||Total Disclosed Funding ($M)|
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