Gigantic news for our friends at Yuneec today, as semiconductor powerhouse Intel has announced a $60 million investment in the company. Hear the news for yourself from the companies CEOs in this YouTube video:
Truth be told, I had a feeling that something like this might be in the works. As you'll recall, a while back we had the opportunity to interview Yuneec CEO Tain Yu about the Typhoon 4K and the Wizard remote control system. We conducted the interview at the Hillsboro airport, where Tian had arrived for a meeting with a company we were obliged to keep secret at the time but which was, in fact, Intel.
Anyway, now that the news is official, there are a couple of things that occur to me:
First, I've been saying for a while now that I believe Yuneec has the potential to disrupt the DJI/3DR duopoloy that currently exists in the consumer drone space. Having had an increasing amount of hands-on experience with Yuneec's aircraft, I am still nothing but impressed. They fly extremely well, have great gimbals and cameras and build in a lot of small features that I like but I don't see on drones from other manufacturers.
Yuneec was gaining ground on DJI and 3DR all on their own, but with Intel and $60 million on their side, I can only imagine that this is going to supercharge their efforts to carve out a space for themselves in the increasingly competitive drone market.
Second, Intel's decision to back Yuneec is a powerful indicator that drones have a bright future ahead of them. As a giant of the tech industry, Intel can't afford to miss out on the next big thing. So, this investment is another solid piece of evidence that, as anyone reading this blog already knows, drones are going to be BIG.
Third, I'm guessing that Intel is going to contribute more than money to this equation. Intel can provide infinite firepower in terms of computer processing power, which could be a game-changer when applied to drones, so it will be interesting to see what fruit this partnership bears.
Overall, a very exciting day for the drone industry as a whole – and I'm sure they're turning handsprings over at Yuneec. Congratulations, guys!