Drone maker xCraft has been given a $1.5 million grant by all five celebrity investors of Shark Tank after their successful investment pitch on the show. The pitch showcased their X Plus One drone that can hover in any angle with its multi-rotor capabilities, fly as high as 10,000 feet, handle long-range flight, and travel at 60mph in airplane mode. They also showed the “Phone Drone,” where a smartphone is attached to a drone. This drone is particularly special since it has a “unique periscope hardware design that enables three distinct camera views,” and accessories like sensors, cameras, and GPS won’t be needed anymore since it’s all in the smartphone – making it much more affordable than the traditional drone. The investment was given in exchange for a 25% stake in their company.
Founders JD Claridge and Charles Manning initially sought $500,000 in funding with 20% equity, but they walked away with a much better deal. Claridge is an aerospace engineer and set up the company in 2014 before Manning joined to lead the business side of the company. Previously, xCraft was on Kickstarter and was able to rake in $143,000, and an additional $30,000 from their website.