DJI, manufacturers of the extremely popular Phantom drones, has secured a $75 million investment from Palo Alto-based Accel Partners. The investment marks one of DJI’s largest investments to date and demonstrates Silicon Valley’s serious attitude towards the rise of the consumer drone.
Neither DJI nor Accel would comment on how the investment effects DJI’s valuation, but last week the Shenzhen, China-based drone maker said it was seeking to raise money at a $10 billion valuation.
“The investment, one of Accel’s largest single investments, is part of a broader effort between the two organizations to help DJI’s global expansion efforts,” DJI said in a statement, but there were no further specifics.
“We share the long-term vision of creating a next-generation robotic platform to open the skyways to all kinds of consumer and business applications,” Accel partner Sameer Gandhi told Reuters.
Accel is best known for being early investors in internet juggernauts such as Facebook, Etsy, and Dropbox.
“The funds from the investment will be used for ongoing initiatives to accelerate global adoption of DJI’s products, and to extend DJI’s reach into new industrial applications,” DJI’s PR Manager Michael Perry told DRONELIFE, “Additional details about the partnership between DJI and Accel will be officially announced in the coming weeks.”
It’s difficult to predict DJI’s actual valuation because drone sales numbers are kept pretty close to the chest. According to Reuters, DJI estimates it has about a 70% market share on consumer drones which is actually pretty close to DRONELIFE’s own predictions about the marketplace.
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