Drone Racing League Gets Influx of Capital
Start your drones! The Drone Racing League (DRL) – yes, there’s a league for racing drones – raised $20 million during its recent series B round of fundraising.
High-powered investors include the WWE, Allianz, Liberty Media, Lux Capital, Hearst Ventures, and British satellite provider Sky. Liberty Media is no stranger to sporting concerns, having a stake in the Atlanta Braves baseball team and recently acquiring Formula 1 racing. CRCM Ventures has also become a DRL investor, which could help facilitate a possible expansion into China. Over its 3 rounds of funding, DLR has raised more than $32 million.
While there are other drone racing leagues, the DRL has pulled out in front, so to speak. Founded in 2016, DLR is now broadcast in 75 countries via outlets such as ESPN and Disney. The league’s 75 million viewers – 30 million via broadcast and 45 million digital – enjoy watching drone pilots race their machines at up to 90 miles an hour through challenging obstacle courses with no lack of crashes occurring.
Drones are being employed in a variety of sectors such as real estate, law enforcement and others. This now adds sports and entertainment to the list. The DRL, however, has thus far been positioning itself as a technology company. The funding will be used for technology enhancements and audience development.
For further information, please check out our podcast: “Is the Commercial Drone Market Ready for Takeoff?”