3D Robotics announces VC funding, expansion plans!

Last week you may have seen the news that I'm going to be leaving Wired to lead 3D Robotics full time as CEO. Now I'm delighted to announce our other exciting news: last week we closed a $5+ million funding round with two premier firms, which will allow us to accelerate the growth of 3DR and expand into new markets.

 

The round was led by Jon Callaghan at True Ventures and Bryce Roberts of O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Both of them will be joining the 3DR board.  These are two of the most far-seeing VCs in the Valley, and both are part of the "hardware is the new software" trend, including investments in Fitbit, Makerbot, Littlebits and Instructables. And they share our vision of the power of open source, the Maker movement and personal robotics. Chris Michel, an investor and long-time entrepreneur (and former Naval Flight Officer) will also be joining as an investor and board member.

 

I'll be opening an office in the SF Bay Area ("3DR North"), which will focus on sales/marketing and community development. Our San Diego headquarters will continue to be the R&D and engineering center, while our Tijuana manufacturing is expanding to handle more and more of our production. My co-founder, Jordi Munoz, will take over the role of President, overseeing operations.

 

With me joining as CEO and the funding round, we'll be growing the company quickly. We're now at 40 people, but will be hiring more hardware and software engineers in San Diego and sales, marketing and community management people in the Bay Area (probably in the Berkeley/Emeryville area).

 

The aim of this ramp-up is simple: more cool stuff and a great customer and community experience. As part of this, we'll be launching a new 3D Robotics site/store, new product sites, manuals and tech support communities and a expanded customer support team.  And of course a wave of exciting new products, focused on making drones and other aerial robotics technology easier, more powerful and cheaper than ever before.

 

This is going to be fun ;-)

Views: 12845

Comment by Scott Fuller on November 5, 2012 at 3:52pm

Hey Chris, admit it. You just like the weather in San Diego ;-D

Congratz on the move! 

Comment by Jeremy Zawodny on November 5, 2012 at 4:30pm

Great news, Chris! I look forward to seeing what happes as things really ramp up now. :-)

Comment by Alfred Alan jr on November 5, 2012 at 5:41pm

Wow, good news for all!

Congratulations.


100KM
Comment by wayne garris on November 5, 2012 at 7:51pm
Hmm looks like the only thing you are missing is a top teir mav aerodynamisist ;-)
Comment by Timothy Clemans on November 5, 2012 at 8:07pm

Will there be a 3DR drone sitting next to the ARDrone in Brookstone? 

Comment by Harry on November 5, 2012 at 8:54pm

It's great to see growth and success.  My available for hire light is on too. 

Comment by Tom in NOVA on November 5, 2012 at 9:18pm

Amazing changes since 2008!  Now others around the world can take part and benefit from "The American Dream" with the open source. Wish you continued success and thank you for the exciting ride!


Wiki Ninja
Comment by Gent Armedo on November 5, 2012 at 10:02pm

Woohoo! Great going for 3DR and congrats, Chris and Jordi! It would be great working for the company in the Bay Area. I would like to inquire about job opportunities in 3DR North...

Comment by W. Joe Taylor on November 5, 2012 at 11:04pm
Lets hope the open source hardware and software of the 3dr /diy drones community will continue, in spite of vc investment. The reason the group has been successful is because of the commitment of the open source community. 3dr, jdrones, udrones, etc grew from the logical need to offer productsthat were more flunctional out of the box, and the apm2 hardware and software made that more of a reality as well. But there are still glitches and it is still evolving. If the full time attention of Chris and additional capital will further the reliability and do as Chris says "lower prices, enhance performance", While keeping the project open source to allow continued learning, then we will all benefit. Some of us watching from the sidelines, and selectively purchasing products for our purposes, remember when a quadcopter with gpsway point navigation was a lot more difficult than it is today and way more expensive. Keep up the good work Chris, Jordi, Jani, and all the others in the developers realm. Thanks to you the Diy drones is not just a slogan but an incredible success. I will eagerly continue to support it.
Comment by Scott Berfield on November 5, 2012 at 11:31pm
Congrats, Chris. Hope you didn't have to give up too much equity. Looking forward to seeing what the funds allow you to do.

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