After the xPlusOne reached 300 percent of its Kickstarter goal, the producers of Shark Tank contacted founders JD Claridge and Charles Manning with an invitation to make their best pitch for top-tier funding.
“It was a new experience for me for sure,” Claridge told KLXY-TV. “Pitching the company to five billionaires on national television is kind of intimidating, but it was an exciting experience for sure.”
X PlusOne is a bi-wing hybrid drone prototype that can not only achieve hover stability but also has broken the 60 mph barrier.
“The patent-pending design incorporates several key elements that lend themselves to speed and efficiency without compromising VTOL performance,” Claridge told DRONELIFE. He added that the design achieves both by incorporating “a bi-wing lifting body configuration, lack of traditional flight control surfaces and novel refinements to the power plant/propeller configuration.”
The X PlusOne garnered 263 backers on Kickstarter who pledged $143,400 to help bring the project to life.
As if the X PlusOne hadn’t created a huge enough splash in the Shark Tank, the xCraft team carried an ace in the hole – the Phone Drone Ethos.
PhoneDrone Ethos is what its name implies – a drone that carries your smartphone as payload, allowing users to deploy their iPhone or Android phone as an autonomous aerial camera. Using a free flight planning app, the DronePhone follows its “master” on a virtual leash and can be programmed to fly specific altitudes, follow the user and stream video to another mobile device. While selfie drones are certainly not new to the drone scene, marrying a small UAV with a smartphone is a new trick. With 34 days remaining in its Kickstarter campaign, PhoneDrone Ethos has gathered almost $170,000 in pledges.
According to the Muse at Jezebel, the company presented the Sharks with “an ask of $500,000 for 20 percent of the company—valuing xCraft at $2.5 million” for production of the X PlusOne.
However, after the Sharks expressed interest in both the X PlusOne and the Phone Drone, Manning and Claridge raised the ask to a $10 million valuation — a Team xCraft double drone play.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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