Mayfield Fund confirms backing of commercial drone maker 3D Robotics in USD30 million funding round
Mayfield Fund announced today that it is confirming its participation in the USD30 million funding round of robotics maker 3D Robotics held in September this year. The funding round also saw participation of the Foundry Group, True Ventures, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and SK Ventures. Mayfield said it had contributed USD6 million to the company, which made a connected, aerial vehicle platform.
3D Robotics was founded by former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine Chris Anderson. The company, said TechCrunch in its report, aspired to make drones and other aerial robotics technology more accessible, powerful and cost-friendly. The tech news site pointed out that the high-powered, connected devices 3D Robotics had been working on are typically reserved for clients in the military or the aerospace industry. 3D Robotics vowed that the controlled drones could be made cheaper than its expensive counterparts, and that these drones could be use commercially, which includes delivery. TechCrunch pointed out that despite the uncertainty of the proliferation of commercial drones on the market, shipping and delivery market segments showed promised.
TechCrunch explained that the startup's portfolio is composed of four copter drones and a single plane-style drone. 3D Robotics' flagship device called Iris was said to only cost a potential buyer USD720. Iris, the tech news site said in its report, can be controlled by the owner easily via his personal computer or an Android device via its corresponding app. An owner of the Iris could follow paths drawn on an online map courtesy of it built-in GPS.
Mayfield partner Tim Chang told TechCrunch that he had been fascinated with the evolution of connected devices and hardware that he has led investments in wearables like high-powered Basis and game console Ooya. Chang said, "All the computing power and sensors had to be built-in the robotics itself. The real innovation here is on the cloud connected-software part-this has extended the brain power of robots." Chang also said that this was his third deal in the hardware industry.