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 ;-)

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Comment by W. Joe Taylor on November 15, 2012 at 10:16pm
Now thatI hadtime to go back and read the posts: Best of all areon page 6, especially by Brent, Toby (best), AND Marcello (I'm with you). As a guy with a degreein philosophy an engineering, and a business owner, and robotics hobbiest, maybe I am weirdly qualified to ask: Are we over analyzing what we wanted out of this collaboative effort? Chris is doing what I dream of and we have to trust that his personal and professional investment and intent is honorable. Everything I have ever read by him points to sound decision and has benefitted the diy drones effort. Open source is not a religion to me, but I am grateful to everyone who has made what this site is all about. It has evolved out of the love for learning and generous giving by developers. It has resulted in a world class set of hardware and software that compares very favorably to micropilot, other products. It is more fun than an old fart like me deserves. Thanks to all of you. VC is scary, sure. But I sure hope that this (and I do lump Diyd and 3dr together - they are not separable so lets not try to over analyze that to spin it) effort continues to evolve. Chris says it will stay open, that is good enough for me. After all, despite all pleas to insure that the VC will not abscond it, only the contract that Chris and 3dr worked out will insure that, and the continued success of everyone involved of course.
Comment by W. Joe Taylor on November 16, 2012 at 10:28pm
Going back a ways, Now I know why all the philosophy...
Maybe it was this...


3D ROBOTICS Comment by Chris Anderson on March 2, 2012 at 12:54am
Travis: Yes, 3D Robotics (the commercial arm of DIY Drones) has not taken any external funding. By maintaining full control we're able ensure that our top priority is serving the community, not some investor.

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