3D Robotics Secures $50 Million in Venture Financing

3D Robotics, the largest personal drone manufacturer in North America, raised $50 million in its third round of venture financing.

Spearheaded by Qualcomm, the California-based company raised the largest round by any U.S.-based drone company to date, according to an article that appeared in Forbes.

3D Robotics partnered with Qualcomm, a leader in 3G and mobile technologies, to “leverage the extraordinary pace of innovation in the smartphone industry,” according to the company blog. They plan to use the funds to expand hardware and software development, and will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors to develop advanced applications to further improve the performance of their drones.

“By working with Qualcomm Technologies Inc., we can bring advanced computing to the skies at an increasing pace,” 3DR CEO Chris Anderson said, according to the blog. “Such multi-gigahertz Linux-based onboard computing platforms, combined with state-of-the-art cameras and other sensors and wireless technologies, will allow us to create next-gen drones that are smarter, easier and safer than ever before.”

3DR is encouraged by the proposed regulations the FAA released last month, and sees them as a “huge step forward in the acceleration of the commercial drone industry,” according to the blog. Through the regulations, operators won’t need a manned pilot license or aircraft certification to fly small drones, lowering the barrier to entry for new operators.

The company sees the future of drones looking more like the consumer electrics industry than the aerospace industry, which means the smaller, cheaper, lighter, safer drones will soon be in the hands of more operators, who will be able to use them for a variety of applications.

For more information visit 3drobotics.com.