On xCraft’s Shark Tank Deal
As a drone enthusiast, I like to keep up to date on happenings within the industry, such as the recent news of the deal that a drone company, xCraft made on Shark Tank.
I’m not the most informed on these investment things but it seems to me from the video clip of the deal I watched and what I’ve seen on their website that the founders don’t have the most faith in the longterm success of their company and are instead playing the short term game. It seems to me that these two founders are looking to capitalize on the unique current situation of the consumer drone industry, where the media has taken a more normalized attitude toward drones and no longer portrays all drones as nefariously ultra-complex technology, yet the general public has not become totally familiar with the big established names like DJI currently in the market.
First of all, just look at the company’s name, xCraft. It strikes me as a really uninspired and boring name. Even the Chinese manufacturers in the market these days have much catchier names, such as Cheerson, Syma, Hubsan, etc. xCraft, on the other hand, is something you’d expect a company from the 90’s to call themselves.
Also, I believe the 2 founders intentionally asked the Shark Tank investors for less than they could have in order to quickly secure the confidence and backing of all 5 investors. “Drone Company Gets Funding on Shark Tank” is a much less catchier headline than “Drone Company Gets Funding From ALL 5 Sharks on Shark Tank!”. For a tech company in an industry often projected to reach the billions by the end of the decade, it sounds like a trivial task to have gone to Silicon Valley VC’s for much more funding than what they got.
Which brings me to my third point, the fact that this technology company is seeking funding on Shark Tank. Ignoring the abject flattery on the founders’s part about how the sharks have “superior operational experience” than the VC firms, I think this move speaks to the company’s motive of cashing in on the current state of the consumer drone industry I described above. I checked out their 2 products, and I think they know that they’ll need much more than a gimmicky VTOL and a “phone drone” to compete with the big boys like 3DR and DJI in the long run, so they’re focusing their efforts on getting a few novel products into the market as soon as possible by riding the wave of popularity they just got from their Shark Tank appearance.
This company will definitely make their founders and investors a pretty sum of money, but ultimately will contribute little to nothing to drone technology.