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3D Robotics increases Series C to $64m

The drone producer and software platform has received new funding from venture capital firms including WestSummit Capital which led the top-up round after initially closing the Series C round on $50m.

Consumer drone producer and drone software platform company 3D Robotics (3DR) has increased its Series C round of funding to $64 million from $50 million after getting new funding from a group of venture capital firms led by WestSummit Capital, a Silicon Valley firm.

Other investors in the top-up round include the venture capital arm of flash memory technology giant SanDisk and Atlantic Bridge Ventures, another US VC firm. But there were also investors from Asia and Europe, according to a press release on 3DR’s website.

3DR’s Series C expansion is no surprise as investment into the burgeoning sector continues to grows. Some $59 million was raised during the first quarter of this year which is over half of the $86 million raised during 2014, according to AgFunder. And the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the drone market will reach $140 billion over the next 10 years, of which 80 percent will be used for precision agriculture.

3DR hopes to leverage the knowledge of its “diverse investor base” to help in its expansion, according to the release. Investors in the first round of Series C funding include Qualcomm Ventures, Foundry Group, True Ventures, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Mayfield and Shea Ventures.

“3DR’s roots are in a worldwide, open developer community, so creating an equally expansive global organization is a key part of company strategy,” said Chris Anderson, chief executive of 3DR in a statement. “China is emerging as a world leader in drone technology and production, and many of the innovative companies there are already using 3DR platforms. We see tremendous opportunity to work with investors and experts in these markets to extend that lead and work more closely with innovative young companies.”

“We’re active investors in the Internet of Things (IoT) market and see huge promise in 3DR as a leader in next-generation robotics,” said David Lam, managing director of WestSummit Capital. “IoT is a truly international market where software meets hardware and East meets West, and 3DR has developed an incredibly advanced and globally adopted drone software and hardware platform. WestSummit Capital’s China Value Creation capabilities match perfectly with 3DR’s cross-border business, embracing Silicon Valley innovation, Asian manufacturing, global competition and the global market.”