$ 10 Million Drone Maker EHANG to Create Developer SDK
While the drone market is still at an early stage, venture investors are increasingly interested in startups on this topic. One of the last companies to receive investments is EHANG , which created Ghost Drone, which users can control by tilting their smartphone.
The company announced today that it received $ 10 million in Stage A from GGV Capital with the participation of entrepreneurs Xiaoping Xu, co-founder of ZhenFund; Entrepreneur Nick Yang, Former Sohu Technical Manager; PreAngel fund, which invests at an early stage. EHANG was a finalist at TechCrunch in August.
EHANG co-founder Derrick Xiong says Round A will help grow the project team, which now has 17 members and is located in Guangzhou, Beijing and San Francisco.
EHANG plans to expand its marketing team to advance, engage in its own SDK and hopes to hire more people to research and develop their technology.
Part of the funds will also be spent on current pre-orders for Indiegogo , which was aimed at $ 100k, but raised more than $ 640k. Delivery of Ghost Drone is scheduled for next month.
EHANG, which means “one hundred million pilots” in Chinese, is going to make drones available to as many people as possible. The founders of the company worked on the technology before the EHANG drones last two years, although the company itself started only in April.
One of the best-selling Ghost Drone chips is its control using the application on the smartphone, and not the radio controller, which is complicated for a beginner and too bulky.
Other companies are also developing smartphone apps including Parrot Bebop drone, which is sold at the Apple online store. EHANG, however, is going to make the most intuitive application accessible for understanding even to a child of five. The Ghost Drone application uses the accelerator of the smartphone, which allows you to control the drone with the simple tilt of the phone. Users can tell the drone the destination by a simple tap on the map, and of course, you can control the tilt of the GoPro camera from your smartphone.
In addition, EHANG is one of two companies (the other is 3D Robotics ) that work on autopilot functions, which means that the drone can independently follow the user by participating in his activities, for example, in sports.
Although the creators of EHANG claim that the system is simple enough even for a child, but it is not a children's toy. Price from $ 500 to $ 1000 - Ghost Drone is more expensive than its competitors, to which the founder says that their product is made of better materials and can fly farther and higher than competitors like Parrot Bebop.
In a statement, Jenny Lee, managing partner at GGV Capital, says: “There are many potential applications for drones, from personal to commercial. We are very happy to work with EHANG because we like their unique approach to building technology. They rely on mobile applications and unique features that make drones accessible to everyone. ”
Ghost Drone is aimed at people who want to make creative videos of events and sports from above, but the project’s SDK also opens up opportunities for other usage models that creative developers will come up with.
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