EHANG, Maker Of Ghost Drone, Raises $10M Collection A Led By GGV Capital
Although the market continues to be in its early levels, drone startups have gotten more and more common amongst enterprise capital companies. One of many newest corporations to profit is EHANG, maker of Ghost Drone, which customers can management by tilting their smartphones. The corporate introduced in the present day that it has raised a $10 million Collection A led by GGV Capital, with participation from entrepreneurs Xiaoping Xu, the co-founding father of ZhenFund; entrepreneur Nick Yang, former chief know-how officer of Sohu; and early-stage startup fund PreAngel additionally participated.
(EHANG was a finalist on the TechCrunch/TechNode Beijing occasion’s startup competitors in August.)
EHANG co-founder Derrick Xiong says the Collection A might be used to develop EHANG from its present roster of 17 staff, who’re based mostly in Guangzhou, Beijing, and San Francisco. EHANG plans to increase its advertising group to advertise the drone in addition to its software program improvement package (SDK) and hopes to rent extra individuals for its analysis and improvement crew to proceed engaged on its drone know-how.
A part of the capital may even be used to satisfy orders from Ghost Drone’s present Indiegogo marketing campaign, which initially aimed for $one hundred,000 however has raised greater than $640,000 to date. The Ghost Drone is predicted to start out delivery subsequent month.
EHANG, which suggests “100 million pilots” in Chinese language, needs to make drones accessible to as many individuals as potential, says Xiong. The corporate’s founders have been engaged on the know-how behind EHANG’s drones for 2 years and the startup was formally launched in April.
One in every of Ghost Drone’s key promoting factors is that customers navigate it with a smartphone app as an alternative of a radio controller, which could be cumbersome and troublesome for newbies to make use of.
To make certain, there are already different shopper drones that use smartphone app controllers, together with the Parrot Bebop drone, which is bought in Apple’s on-line retailer. EHANG, nevertheless, needs to distinguish by making their smartphone apps so intuitive that even youngsters as younger as 5 can fly a drone. The Ghost Drone’s app makes use of smartphone accelerators so individuals can management their drones by tilting their telephones. Customers can inform the drone the place to fly by tapping a spot on a map, they usually can even use the app to regulate the angle of hooked up GoPro cameras.
As well as, EHANG can also be one among solely two corporations (the opposite being 3D Robotics that makes drones with an auto-comply with function, which signifies that a drone will mechanically accompany customers as they interact in several actions, like sports activities.
Although EHANG’s creators declare that it’s easy sufficient for a kid to function, the Ghost Drone is just not a youngsters’s toy (until they occur to have extremely indulgent mother and father). Priced between $500 and $1,000, the Ghost Drone is costlier than lots of its shopper-oriented rivals, which Xiong says is as a result of it’s constructed from higher high quality supplies and may fly additional and better than rivals just like the Parrot Bebop.
In a ready assertion, Jenny Lee, managing companion at GGV Capital, stated, “There are such a lot of potential purposes for drone know-how—from private to business. We’re excited to be working with EHANG, as a result of we love their distinctive strategy to constructing this know-how. They’re leveraging cellular apps and distinctive options to make drones which are straightforward for everybody to make use of.”
The Ghost Drone is focused at individuals who need to take aerial movies of occasions and sports activities, however EHANG’s SDK means it’s open to different use instances as extra builders provide you with concepts. EHANG is presently prototyping different merchandise focused at totally different teams of consumers, in addition to business drones to faucet right into a market that could also be value $1.7 billion by 2025.