Summary:

The drone company will use the funding to improve its robots’ aerial surveillance abilities.

Promo shoot at the Marina
photo: 3D Robotics

Aerial robotics company 3D Robotics announced today that that it collected $30 million in a Series B funding round, adding to a $5 million Series A round last November. Foundry Group and True Ventures (see disclosure) led the round.

3D Robotics builds drones for industrial and consumer use. The funding will go toward improving the abilities of its robots, with a focus on aerial surveillance applications like agriculture. Additional funding came from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SK Ventures.

“The opportunity to bring ‘big data’ to agriculture through low-cost automated aerial crop surveys could be a game-changer for both farming and the UAV industry alike,” 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson said in a release. “Adding UAVs to the precision agriculture toolkit of a 21st century farmer gives them the power to use imaging data to not only increase yield, but decrease water use and the chemical load in both food and environment.”

Anderson founded 3D Robotics in 2009 with Jordi Munoz. He left his post as editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine last year to focus on entrepreneurship. The company offers products like a sub-$1,000 autonomous quadcopter and navigation software.

Foundry Group cofounder Jason Mendelson published a personal reaction to the funding round here. He said he is most interested in agricultural monitoring, search and rescue, hyper-local delivery and camera applications.

3D Robotics is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, the founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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