All five sharks decided to invest in the booming drone industry during Episode 5 of Season 7 of Shark Tank, which aired late in the year. The drone manufacturer was xCraft, and in 2017, xCraft saw several significant advances.
Kickstarter backers are beginning to receive their X PlusOne drones and development kits. xCraft experienced an order number mix-up in January 2016, and some difficulties with using numerous platforms, such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and the website itself, but all were overcome.
What is xCraft?
xCraft is a well-known drone developer. The company designs and manufactures unique Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the United States of America.
xCraft’s mission is to develop small, powerful, and powerful flying vehicles that will pave the way for commercial applications.
Who is the Founder of xCraft?
The unique flagship product was developed by JD Claridge, an aerospace engineer, and Charles Manning, an expert in software development.
Charles is the founder of Kochava, a company that provides mobile marketing and advertising analytics. JD remains CEO of xCraft, while Charles sits on the xCraft board of directors.
JD Claridge and Charles Manning founded xCraft in 2014 after meeting and bonding over their shared love for business and aviation. The two recognized that drones were growing in popularity, and they were looking for ways to incorporate them into their daily lives. A Kickstarter campaign successfully crowdfunded the first product, X PlusOne, produced by the pair.
XCraft’s Kickstarter campaign was a huge success, raising almost 300 percent of the initial funding goal. The following year, in 2015, they decided it was time to take xCraft to Shark Tank.
xCraft Before Shark Tank
Shark Tank is an excellent introduction to start-ups, venture capital, and entrepreneurship for anyone unfamiliar with them. After all, the role of startups to develop technology such as augmented reality and machine learning is the role of startups to develop technology such as augmented reality and machine learning.
Their staff consists of hoodie-clad, Red Bull-drinking developers. A major focus of their business plan and social media marketing is in the Bay Area.
A start-public up’s vision is The Social Network. Shark Tank’s primary focus is on pet food and potty training items. To be sure, Shark Tank pitches are diverse, but it’s uncommon for an idea to tick all of the “cool” criteria. xCraft, on the other hand, is an exception.
xCraft is a developer of unique drone technology for the mainstream market. The X PlusOne, the company’s flagship product, combines the hovering capability of a helicopter with the speed of a plane. A smaller drone that fully utilizes the features found on most smartphones is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2016.
xCraft intends to disrupt the drone business by capitalizing on recent advancements in crewless and autonomous flight and improving camera quality and accessibility.
They required an experienced crew to work with such cutting-edge equipment. The CEO, JD Claridge, is an aerospace engineer with previous experience at Volant Technica and Quest Aircraft.
Kochava, a market leader in mobile analytics, is helmed by Charles Manning, the co-founder and main evangelist of XCraft. There is a diverse staff beyond JD and Charles. They have a chief operating officer with a Bitcoin investment background, Andrew Cook. They have many engineers and a Chinese-speaking production manager who is fluent in Chinese.
That’s not surprising at all. xCraft was started by crowdsourcing. An initial goal of $50,000 was set for the initiative late in 2014.
xCraft raised over three times this amount following a month-long campaign. The average pledge was $545.25, which included pre-orders for final products, development kits, accessories, and irregular updates of the project’s progress.
However, Kickstarter rarely provides sufficient funding for a business of this size. A rise in R&D spending and inventory buildup results in a rise in venture capital needs.
Charles and JD will need additional funding to launch new creative products and increase drones in a range of consumer applications.
xCraft on Shark Tank
JD and Charles enter the business flying the X PlusOne XCraft Drone in “drone mode,” seeking $500K for a 20% stake. They assert that we are witnessing the birth of a new era in aviation, with the drone redefined.
xCraft is capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and altitudes of 10,000 feet. The Sharks are shown the wing’s rotation and are told about the advantages of speed when filming fast-moving objects.
It can operate autonomously if a flight plan is created by the user. The Sharks (and the general public) are warned to keep their drones below 400 feet and away from airports.
The company raised $173K through Kickstarter pre-sales and offered the product for $1899 retail. The drones are only $400 to build.
They show off their phone drone following the pitch. It enables a smartphone to fly by utilizing the sensors currently built into smartphones.
It is still in development but is expected to cost less than $100 to produce. They intend to sell it for approximately $300. Their “secret sauce” is their information technology, which they wish to license.
Daymond is curious as to why they are here. They clarify that they require $250K to stock the XCraft and $250K to manufacture the Phone Drone. Kevin quickly offers $750K in exchange for 25%.
Daymond foresees a vicious Shark fight and offers $1 million in exchange for 25%; Kevin instantly matches. Lori offers $1 million in exchange for 20%, which Kevin matches!
After witnessing the Sharks fight, JD and Charles inquire whether all five sharks will be entered at a $10 million valuation. “I smell greedy people!” exclaims Daymond.
After a brief pause, the narrator recounts how the company’s valuation increased from $2.5 million to $10 million. Daymond recounts a story of a tiny crab who refused to share his food because he was a SHELLFISH.
JD and Charles enquire as to which Sharks are uninvolved. Mark maintains his composure as they enter the corridor at Kevin’s suggestion.
Robert estimates that each Shark may earn $300,000 at a 5% commission. When JD and Charles return, the Sharks propose what Robert stated, which brings the total to $1.5 million for a 25% stake, with all Sharks participating at a rate of 5% apiece. All Sharks, except for Mark, are in.
Mark inquires about who else has offered them money, and Charles responds that they have received other bids from institutional investors interested in shaping the company.
Mark agrees with that response and says he’s in as well! Charles and JD place a higher premium on the Sharks’ contribution, as venture investors prefer not to get their hands dirty.
RESULTS: DEAL $1.5 million for a 25% stake in xCraft for each of the five Sharks.
Did xCraft get a deal on Shark Tank?
xCraft entered Shark Tank seeking $500,000 for 20% ($2.5 million valuations) and exited with a deal of $1.5 million for 25% from all five Sharks – a $6 million valuation.
The Sharks’ contract fell through, and it appears that none of the Sharks have taken flight using xCraft.
What Happened to xCraft After Shark Tank?
xCraft has gone through many developments since the episode aired a few months ago. Kickstarter backers have begun receiving their development kits and PlusOne drones. Although there has not been much feedback yet, (which is a good thing because people tend to vent on the internet when things don’t work out).
xCraft also encountered an order number mix-up early in 2016 because of unforeseen order capacity and the use of three platforms (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and its website). There does seem to be a solution, however.
The business’s rapid growth and new consumer concerns led the founders to create a team, which included a community manager.
In summer 2016, the XCraft was available for purchase on Amazon.com – click here to view all three models. Best of all, you can receive the XCraft for free with Amazon Prime.
A Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise $100,000 immediately following their appearance on Shark Tank. The tank’s non-functional prototype was displayed a few years ago. How far has the project progressed since then?
X PlusOne raised money via crowdfunding, and PhoneDrone is following the same path, aptly named PhoneDrone Ethos.
A successful campaign that raised more than $400,000 through Kickstarter and Indiegogo raised even more funds. PhoneDrone will be the subject of half of the substantial expenditure.
A check at the Kickstarter update section indicates that they’ve been busy with activities other than fundraising. By February 2016, they had recruited a new team, secured a manufacturer, and relocated to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
They believe that the larger building in a startup-friendly town will serve as a mini-Silicon Valley. Additionally, they’ve launched surveys to develop direct communication with their clients, as well as a referral drive to help spread the word about xCraft.
They unveiled a more responsive PhoneDrone Ethos prototype in April 2016, which will be field-tested further when the weather permits. Given the scale of production, PhoneDrone Ethos appears to be on track to arrive in September 2016.
Is xCraft Still in Business?
xCraft has ceased to develop retail products aside from those available on Amazon and their website.
xCraft mission is to design drones that serve enterprises and military clients in the defense, energy, and security sectors as of July 2021.
What is the Sales, Valuation, and Revenue of xCraft?
xCraft has raised $1.1 million since appearing on Shark Tank through mountain man ventures, Meyer Equity, and StartEngine.
xCraft closed its second StartEngine campaign with over $1 million in funding from over 1000 individual investors in 2018. According to the current valuation, xCraft is worth approximately $17 million.