‘Shark Tank’ Start-Up Launches Smartphone Drone


Having landed a $1.5 million deal on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” xCraft has announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for the PhoneDrone Ethos, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that allows a user’s smartphone to fly and automatically follow a subject.

The drone leverages the sensor, processor and wireless capabilities of a smartphone to get aerial footage at a fraction of the cost of a typical drone, according to xCraft, which adds that PhoneDrone Ethos is also the first UAV that can be controlled by Apple Watch.

The drone is available on Kickstarter for $235 until Nov. 30, when the campaign ends. The company says it took 28 hours for the product to surpass its funding goal on the site.

“By giving your smartphone wings, we are unlocking a whole new dimension that has never been available to your mobile device,” says JD Claridge, president and CEO of xCraft.

The xCraft team appeared on Shark Tank on Oct. 23. All five sharks (Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John and Robert Herjavec) closed a $1.5 million deal for a share of 25% in the company.

O’Leary said, “You guys are going to own this market.”

Founded in 2014, xCraft is a drone technology start-up based in Sandpoint, Idaho. It also offers the X PlusOne, a vertical take-off drone that can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph.

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