Two Chinese companies topped the list of largest deals to drone startups, with startups in the US and Canada rounding out the top 10.
As a newly emerging tech area, the drone space has predominantly seen funding in smaller Seed and Series A deals. But as the industry matures, check sizes are beginning to swell for certain more mature drone startups.
Companies like DJI Innovations ($105M in total disclosed equity funding) and 3D Robotics ($179M) have raised multiple large rounds, while others like EHANG ($53M) have raised a single round of significant capital.
The two largest drone deals to date have both gone to Chinese drone startups: Shenzhen-based DJI Innovations currently tops the list with a $75M Series B from Accel Partners, while Shanghai-based YUNEEC takes second place with a $60M round backed by Intel Capital.
However, the leaderboard has recently been shaken up. Just last month, navigation and autonomy focused Swift Navigation ($48M in funding) raised an impressive $34M Series B round, the eighth-largest disclosed equity drone deal on record. Right behind Swift Navigation, Airware, DJI Innovations (which is on the top deals list twice), and 3D Robotics (on the list three times) have all raised $30M rounds.
Track all the Drone startups in this brief and many more on our platform
Drone startups transforming unstructured environments are reshaping the ways we collect data, transport goods, and protect our property. Sign up for a free trial and look for Drones in the Collections tab.Track drone startups
See the full list of the largest drone deals below.
|Rank||Company||Round||Date||Amount ($M)||Round Investors|
|1||DJI Innovations||Series B||5/6/2015||$75M||Accel Partners|
|2||YUNEEC||Unattributed VC||8/27/2015||$60M||Intel Capital|
|3||3D Robotics||Series D||4/28/2017||$53M||Atlantic Bridge Capital, Autodesk Forge Fund, Foundry Group, Mayfield Fund, True Ventures|
|4||3D Robotics||Series C||2/25/2015||$50M||Foundry Group, GWC Innovator Fund, Maveron, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, True Ventures|
|5||Aeryon Labs||Growth Equity||10/23/2015||$45.9M||Summit Partners|
|6||Liquid Robotics||Series E||3/19/2013||$45M||InterWest Partners, Riverwood Capital, VantagePoint Capital Partners|
|7||EHANG||Series B||8/24/2015||$42M||GGV Capital, GP Healthcare Capital, Oriental Fortune Capital, ZhenFund|
|8||Swift Navigation||Series B||6/28/2017||$34M||Eclipse Ventures, First Round Capital, New Enterprise Associates|
|9||Airware||Series C||3/31/2016||$30M||Andreessen Horowitz, John Chambers, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Next World Capital|
|9||DJI Innovations||Series A||11/24/2014||$30M||Sequoia Capital China|
|9||3D Robotics||Series B||9/26/2013||$30M||Foundry Group, Mayfield Fund, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, SK Ventures, True Ventures|
|10||Clearpath Robotics||Series B||10/5/2016||$29.5M||Caterpillar Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, GE Ventures, iNovia Capital, RRE Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank|
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity