The year got off to a big start, with one of the more interesting startups around — a Chinese drone maker named EHANG — getting funding to the tune of $10 million from US and China venture investor GGV Capital and two prominent angel investors, Nick Yang and Xiaoping Xu.
Derrick Xiong, a co-founder of EHANG, is on a mission to make personal drones mainstream. The first rounding funding should be a boost for the innovative startup, which got its start through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo last November. EHANG raised $600,000 on Indiegogo for its so-called Ghost Drone product.
The Ghost Drone has its innovations. It’s controlled by a smartphone app, and a tilt control feature lets users to control their Ghost Drones by tilting their smartphone. Take off, hover, return and land are all pre-programmed on the app and the Ghost Drone doesn’t require any assembly – talk about Chinese ingenuity!
The majority of spending on drones has been from the military but there’s been a recent shift to consumer purchases. The market potential with spending with spending set to double from the current $2.8 billion over the next decade.
GGV’s Jenny Lee, a force in China tech investing, led the deal for the venture firm. She said she was impressed by the company’s use of mobile apps to make drones that are easy to use by everyone.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com