Boom! Drone Racing League Raises $20 Million in Series B Funding
BY Zacc Dukowitz16 June 2017
The Drone Racing League (DRL) recently announced that they raised a whopping $20 million in a Series B funding round.
Wow. That is a lot of money, and says a ton about the confidence investors feel in the future of FPV racing.
At a time when many consumer-focused companies like Parrot, Autel, GoPro and others have faced major layoffs, leading to big pivots in their focus—such as Parrot’s launch of their prosumer line—it speaks volumes that the DRL is seeing so much fundraising success, and especially after only two years in business.
We’ve written a lot recently about how construction is the next big wave of the drone industry, but it looks like FPV racing will also be a huge contender when it comes to where we go next.
Who Are the Investors?
The $20 million financing round was led by Sky, Liberty Media Corporation (owner of Formula 1) and Lux Capital, joining existing partners including Hearst Ventures and Miami Dolphin’s owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures, which participated in an $8 million round in 2016.
In addition to Liberty Media Corporation, DRL added new investors Allianz (its global Title Sponsor of the race circuit) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Other partners that joined Sky and Lux in the round include Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Courtside Ventures. DRL has also added CRCM Ventures, supporting DRL’s expansion into China. LionTree Advisors acted as a financial advisor for the company and Morrison Foerster was the company’s legal advisor.
“We’re incredibly proud to announce new partners and investors aligning with DRL to solidify drone racing as the sport of the future.”
– Nicholas Horbaczewski, CEO and Founder of DRL
DRL on Monday also announced a partnership with the Amazon Prime Video series “The Grand Tour.” Videos from the race will be released in August and September, ahead of “The Grand Tour” Season 2 later this year.
The DRL 2017 season begins on June 20 on ESPN, and will be broadcast in more than 75 countries with broadcast partners including Sky Sports, ProSiebenSat.1, Disney XD, and OSN.
Watch the video below to learn more about FPV racing and the Drone Racing League’s 2017 season, which is just about to kick off.
About the Drone Racing League
The Drone Racing League launched in January 2016 as the only global professional drone racing organization, hosting five professional races in its inaugural season.
DRL’s ‘16 season reached more than 75 million fans around the world (which is insane!), with more than 30 million broadcast viewers and more than 45 million views of its digital content.
How Can You Get into FPV Drone Racing?
FPV Racing is a new and rapidly growing sport that’s getting commercialized by organizations like the Drone Racing League, U.S. Drone Racing Association, MultiGP, and events like the World Drone Racing Championships. If you’re already an FPV hobbyist you can learn more about how to get into actual races, or read on to find out about FPV racing itself.
The first time we flew FPV was on the Drone Racing League’s free simulator.
The software is free to download, but we bought the FrSky Taranis X9D Plus 2.4GHz Telemetry Radio & Aluminum Case Mode 2 Transmitter to be able to fly with real joysticks. It was easy to set up and came with a rugged silver case (which made us feel special 🙂 ).
If you’re looking to get into FPV drone racing, we definitely recommend Force1’s racing kit. We’ve had great luck with their instructions and support team on multiple products of theirs over the last few years.
Also, if you’re thinking about getting into FPV racing make sure to check out our full guide to FPV systems for more information on how you can get started, and recommendations for what to buy to get you up and running.
Want to buy the Force1 kit? Remember to use the code DYSCOACH to get 20% off the Force 1 DYS Drone when you purchase it on Amazon.