Chinese drone maker DJI is planning a new funding round with a valuation of £6.8 billion, which would put it ahead of all other drone-based providers in value.
It is the first time DJI has looked for outsider funding. It was founded in 2006 by Frank Wang, who has continued to build commercial and professional drones since.
The difference between DJI’s drones and most others is the Chinese company can make customers spend thousands on unique features like 4K video feed, higher speed, more accuracy and better design - it is the Tesla or Apple of drones.
This prestige is being used by DJI to create the next line of drones for cinematography, photography and potentially surveillance. The latter is not very “sexy” in terms of appeal, but it certainly interests some types of audiences.
DJI developed the Phantom 3 quadcopter and has the Inspire 1 and S Class to offer different services. It still has yet to present a commercial model for less than £400, although that day may soon be approaching.
Having this funding from venture firms Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, both deep into the talks with DJI for the investment, it could give DJI the momentum to continue its platform throughout the world, and potentially make Wang a billionaire.
It is a much higher valuation than 3D Robotics, who only received £33 million in funding. It claimed DJI were the market share holders in the drone industry.
DJI will likely look for £338 million in investment, but it has not detailed what it is planning to do with the payment.