SEASON 7 EPISODE 5
customized unmanned aerial systems – drones
$500,000 for 20%
$1.5 million for 25%
Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec
What is xCraft?
xCraft is a successful drone developer company. It designs and manufactures customized Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) in the U.S.A. It aims to innovate high-end, small, and powerful flying machines and open commercial application doors. The drone product, the xPlusOne, was the foundation of xCraft. It encompasses everything you need, including a battery, and captures impressive aerial footage from the craft’s nose. It also has other incredible features, such as fully autonomous flight plans. Therefore, you can use Google maps to plan your missions, and the drone flies from take-off to landing without user input. Additionally, in case of a lost radio signal or low battery, the drone automatically returns to the launcher position. xCraft also brilliantly combines the hovering ability of a helicopter with the speed of a plane.
The innovative flagship product was founded in 2014 by aerospace engineer JD Claridge and his partner Charles Manning. The two called out for crowdfunding, where they received funds triple their goal. Thanks to the public’s massive support, they could fuel the innovation and kick-start their company.
The company impressively beat its kick-starter crowding fund by 300%. They were able to raise $143,400. In 2015, the founders were able to pitch the product on Shark Tank, where they set up a massive bidding war in the tank. The founders proposed a deal where each shark would invest $300,000 for a 5% stake in the company, raising $1.5 million. The sharks were attracted to the xCraft prototype, the phone drone, besides being a premium product. They saw tremendous potential on the add-on device that turns any mobile phone into a drone.
Most drone enthusiasts are thrilled by the flying machines’ incredible speed and room for customization. Additionally, once you read through the instructions, the components assembly is a relatively easy task. You can switch your drone to either the beginner, intermediate, or insane mode based on your experience. However, some users find the product price quite expensive, and the drone speed hard to control. To effectively handle customers’ concerns and inquiries, the company has hired a complete customer service team and a community manager, which has proven helpful.
xCraft After Shark Tank – Where Are They Now?
The deal with the Sharks did not go through and it appears none of the Sharks have taken flight with xCraft. Aside from the few drones on Amazon and on their website, xCraft has discontinued its retail product development.
The company is now solely focused on developing drones for its primary market – enterprise and military customers in the defense, energy, security, and public safety.
Since then, xCraft has been hard at work securing investments from a number of organizations including Mountain Man Ventures, Meyer Equity and a StartEngine campaign for a total of $1.1 million in funding.
In 2018, xCraft launched a second StartEngine campaign which successfully concluded with over $1 million in funding from over 1000 individual investors. The company has an estimated valuation of $17 million.
xCraft Update in 2020
According to co-founder JD Claridge, since its last funding round, xCraft has been working on developing two new drone systems that they hope to bring to market soon.
Claridge states that the company is positioned well to succeed as a UAV leader in the $100 Billion drone market despite global economic issues related to the pandemic. xCraft is currently working on build new business partnerships and securing contracts with the Department of Defense.
Thanks to Shark Tank, xCraft gained a lot of exposure. The company has come a long way and is currently working on releasing two more drone systems. They are pushing to enhance the xPlus and xPlusOne by increasing accessibility and camera quality. xCraft is taking the market by storm and is rising to be one of the world’s most growing tech companies. Additionally, they hope to build more business partnerships and acquire contracts with the ministry of defense.Buy on Amazon Visit the xCraft website