OddityRC, a consumer drone maker, has bagged several million yuan from an angel round of financing, led by Nanjing Innovation Capital Group and Amino Capital, Chinese tech media outlet 36kr reported yesterday.
OddityRC, based in the Jiangsu provincial capital of Nanjing, is dedicated to developing First Person View (FPV) drones, which tend to be smaller, faster and more difficult to control than standard-sized drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Proceeds from this round will be used to accelerate R&D efforts and hire marketing personnel.
During recent years, FPV drones have seen growing adoption in advertisement, entertainment, cinema and TV news coverage, among other applications.
For instance, the 2019 film “Pegasus” features scenes of a rally racing competition as cars careen through the Bayanbulak grassland. The scenes were captured on a camera attached to a FPV drone.
Over the years, FPV drones have transitioned from a niche hobby of geeks and UAV buffs into a segment with the potential to become a mass-market gizmo.
OddityRC has bet on opportunities in this space. Founded in 2020, it started out by making FPV drones and accessories, primarily for the European and North American markets, which were relatively more mature then.
According to Tang Jingyu, COO of OddityRC, the team came up with three FPV drones in the matter of half a year. It has since sold more than 2,000 drones to customers from China, Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
“We have built a complete supply chain. This will considerably shorten the design-to-production cycle,” said Tang. “Going forward, the team will focus on developing an ecosystem for consumer-grade drones and assembling a marketing team.”
Zhang Di, deputy investment director at Nanjing Innovation Capital Group, one of the angel round backers, agreed that FPV drones such as those supplied by OddityRC have a bright future.
In his view, now that DJI (大疆创新) has established an undisputable reputation as the industry leader, it will be important for startups to combine the next-gen drone products with the latest industry trends.
Photo courtesy of OddityRC
OddityRC’s drones adopt a cinewhoop design, which is said to strike the best possible balance between safety, stability and high performance — something FPV users have demanded all along.
Cinewhoop is a unique type of micro FPV drones, usually marked by four propeller guards, which resemble loops and can carry action cameras.
Thanks to this structure, FPV drone is faster, more agile and can differentiate itself with products from established rivals like DJI.
Notably, OddityRC products are also compatible with VR eyeglasses and metaverse technologies.
“As a FPV product shifting from rally race filming to mass consumption, OddityRC has the potential as a high-valued-added cool gadget in terms of both performance and price,” said Zhang, the angel investor.