Over the next three weeks, we will introduce you to the most successful hardware and software startups, mature drone companies and the latest market M&A activity.
Startups and Early-Stage Company Funding
Creative startups are the backbone of the drone industry, a dynamic and fast-moving environment. Almost all drone companies started on a small scale and many of them are now going strong with huge VC funding’s.
In 2015 alone, more than $30 million in seed funding were raised – more than $20 million in the US. Our ranking shows the TOP20 most-funded drone startups from 2014 until today with total investments of $53.5 million.
The Top-Funded Drone Companies
- The most prominent startup is Lily Robotics Inc. On December 12, 2015, Lily Robotics raised a whopping $15 million in series A, paving the way to make its products a real success even though it has not yet sold anything. The self-flying and waterproof drone is an outdoor and adventure platform, which currently has the highest potential. Hopefully Lily Robotics is well prepared because preorders already pile up to 60.000 units – worth a $34 million.
- The second on the list is SkyWard, a software manufacturer. The cloud-based operational management system provides integrated flight planning and fleet management for drone operations. In two seed rounds both in 2014 and in 2015, Skyward collected a total of $5.77 million.
- Squadrone System with its recreational drone platform Hexo+ ranks third.The Kickstarter backed company raised $1.3 million by crowdfunding in 2014 and collected another $3 million seed money from investor Living Water Investment (a real estate company) just a year later.
The Drone-Market Investors
If you scrutinize a number of eminent drone-market investors, you will observe that most of the drone startups obtain their funds via crowdfunding on platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Even though most of these companies’ capital is raised via seed rounds and VC rounds, the thrust in new technologies and drone applications is huge and seem to develop early. This can be seen in the latest Andreessen Horowitz drone funding – the entrepreneur investor believes in the autonomous flight specialist Skydio and the transport drone maker Matternet – leading seed rounds worth a total of $7.5 million.
Our next article will expatiate on the TOP20 drone venture capital deals.