The Idaho-based business that appeared on Friday's episode makes a drone that can switch from hover mode to flight mode, flying at speeds of up to 60 mph and heights of up to 10,000 feet, according to founders J.D. Claridge and Charles Manning.
Though xCraft's drone hasn't hit the market yet, the co-founders had already sold $173,000 in pre-orders through a Kickstarter campaign and their company website upon pitching the sharks. Claridge, an aerospace engineer in his mid 30s, brought Manning on board to help run the business side of the company last year, VentureBeat reports. Manning is a 20-year veteran of the software industry who is also the CEO of mobile analytics company Kochava.
Sensing a shark fight in the tank, the co-founders proposed a five-shark deal, where each shark would invest $300,000 for 5 percent equity. Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary all agreed to the terms, investing a combined $1.5 million.
What made this deal so attractive?
In addition to its multifunctional core product, xCraft also has a prototype called the Phone Drone, an add-on device that turns any mobile phone into a mini-drone. Every shark saw tremendous promise in the product, which is expected to sell for $300.
Drone technology has also become a red-hot industry for investors lately. Investment activity in drone companies has been growing rapidly since the fourth quarter of 2014, as you can see in this chart from CB Insights.