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Flypro raises $13m to boost drone development

Steve Rogerson
December 3, 2015
Flypro Aerospace Tech, the first company in China to specialise in research and development of intelligent UAVs for use by consumers as a hobby or a sport, has completed its series A round of fundraising with $13m from Yihua Capital.
Lin Hai, founder and CEO of Flypro, said with this round of fundraising the company expected to expand rapidly the footprint of its drones in the international market, with further product research and development as well as be able to promote the civilian use of drones.
Unlike most UAV developers, Flypro focused primarily on the sports and hobby segment. The company has been committed to the R&D of intelligent sports drones, ranging from its first auto-tracking drone, the PX400, to its first smart watches as companions to the XEagle UAV.
The XEagle, with auto follow and obstacle avoidance functionality, is tailored for hobbyists and is to be released this month. The technology behind the XEagle, in particular, is a complete reversal from the traditional recognition of the drone's complex control system, which resulted in poor user experience.
The navigation of the drone, product of a number of patented technologies, is controlled by one button on the smart watch, freeing up the hobbyist's hands so he or she can focus on the moment at hand and use the camera to capture every moment from multiple visual angles. The XEagle also comes with several other patented functionalities, including automatic obstacle avoidance when flying at high speed, voice control, multiple security protections and an intelligent moving camera.
Lin Hai said Flypro was the only drone developer that had staged a performance of a fleet of drones flying in formation, as well as to have released the heavyweight drone, the XEagle, relying on the firm's advanced technologies and capabilities at innovation.
"Flypro, created to serve the hobbyist community, focusing on simple yet intelligent controls, an interesting user experience and cost-efficient high-quality products, is expected become the barometer for and the leader of the intelligent sports drone segment," said Lin Hai.
Among its technologies is an advanced flight control system, a visual positioning system and automated obstacle avoidance. To date the firm has successfully obtained dozens of drone-related patents.
"The investment was based on two factors,” said Yihua Capital chairman Liu Zhuangqing. “Firstly, Flypro is a forerunner in the consumer segment of the intelligent sports drone market with great innovative and development potential. Secondly, we hope that, looking forward, Flypro, in its role as an innovative drone developer, will work together with many of the other businesses in the Yihua Group portfolio and create a more innovative space for development and cooperation."
Yihua Capital's investments have focused on the internet, mobile phone games, downloadable mobile apps, intelligent hardware, biological medicine, intelligent household appliances, new energy applications and new materials. The company has completed an integrated investment portfolio assuring broad coverage for its investors.