Sticks and stones may break my DRONES – but I'm worth $10bn, laughs China's 'copter giant
DJI set to be most valuable biz in RC aerial gizmos
Chinese drone company DJI could become the world's most valuable unmanned aerial vehicle biz, following a round of fundraising said to place the manufacturer's worth at a cool $10bn (£6.7bn), according to reports.
The Chinese maker of remote-controlled “quadcopters" is seeking to raise money from Silicon Valley venture firms Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, Forbes first reported.
DJI confirmed to Forbes it is in talks with investors, but declined to comment further.
According to The Wall Street Journal, DJI has already become the world’s biggest consumer drone-maker by revenue, selling thousands of its 2.8-pound devices for around $1,000 (£600+).
In the UK, the commercial drone industry is estimated to be worth £7bn per year over the next few years, according to a report by aerospace and defence consulting company Teal Group.
The company's closest rivals are California-based 3D Robotics Inc and French company Parrot SA.
Last month, a DJI drone was used in the first attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison. However, the efforts to fly the contraband substance ended in failure when the UAV got tangled in wire.
Headquartered in Shenzhen, DJI benefits from "direct access to the suppliers, raw materials, and young, creative talent pool necessary for sustained success", according to its own website.
The deal is the latest mega fundraising round for a Chinese tech company. In December Chinese mobe manufacturer Xiaomi raised $1.1bn (£750m) on a valuation of $45bn (£30bn). ®