3D Robotics raises $30 million via Series B financing round

3D Robotics, the unmanned aerial vehicle company founded in 2009 by former Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, today announced a $30 million Series B financing round.

The company said it will use the funds to expand its development and deployment of advanced UAV applications, with a focus on agricultural crop mapping and other commercial aerial survey technology.

“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,” Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, said in a statement. “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.”

The round was co-led by new investor Foundry Group along with existing investor True Ventures, with participation from existing investors O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SK Ventures. A 2012 Series A round was led by True Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. As part of the Series B round, Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group will join the 3D Robotics board of directors.

3D Robotics produces the APM open source UAV autopilot. It also recently announced Iris, a fully-autonomous quadcopter for the consumer market priced at less than $1,000. Consumer sales are set to begin in November.

3D Robotics is privately-held with offices in Berkeley, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Anderson is also the founder of DIY Drones, a community for personal UAV enthusiasts.

[ photo courtesy of 3D Robotics ]