Chinese drone developer bags $42m in Series B

China-based drone start-up EHANG has raised $42m in a Series B funding round led by GP Capital.

EHANG, a Chinese drone technology company, raised $42 in a Series B round led by local firm GP Capital. Other investors in the round include GGV Capital, ZhenFund, Lebox Capital, OFC and PreAngel, according to a statement.

The company raised $10 million in a Series A round late last year. Funding will be used in product and business development for the global consumer and commercial drone market, including in agriculture and forestry.

Competition among drone technology companies for venture capital is fierce. In May, China’s DJI, the world’s largest drone company, declared it would expand into new industrial applications with a $75 million commitment from Accel Partners.

A month later, DJI and global venture capital firm Accel Partners joined forces to launch Skyfund, a $10 million join initiative to invest in drone start-ups and more broadly across the booming field of robotics and intelligent machines.

According a report by the research institute EVTank, the global sales volume of civil drones will increase by 50 percent in 2015, and by 2020 the market scale will reach $25.9 billion.

“We are bullish about the prospects and growth of [unmanned aerial vehicle] development globally and are very pleased to see EHANG gain the support of more industry and financial partners as they continue to bring more exciting, innovative and industry leading products to consumers,” Jenny Lee, managing partner of GGV Capital, said in a statement.

GGV Capital is a $2.6 billion multi-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley and China, which led EHANG’s Series A round in December 2014.