ABC's Sharks Wanted In On This Company's Idea; Is it Time for Others To Do the Same?

JD Claridge and Charles Manning demonstrating their drone on Shark Tank

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

For a startup company bursting with an invention it believes could be a gamechanger, the journey from an idea to an actual product and then to commercial success can be bumpy. Investors often greet newbies with uncertainties, clutching on to the belief that backing a startup company could be costly.

Every day, startups burst onto the investor market with brilliant ideas and products they believe could solve nagging problems or enhance the way things are done. But getting that idea or product off the ground can be difficult. Obtaining financing and investors has been the bane of countless infant companies — some have ended prematurely.

Suppose you are lucky to get a meeting with a potential investor; you face the daunting hurdle of making a compelling case to get buy-in into your dream. Failure to impress means you are back in the wilderness or that idea may retire onto a shelf to gather dust.

Meeting the Sharks

But one unique platform has, over the years, rescued these desperate startups making sure their inventions don’t go into extinction. “Shark Tank,” shown on ABC, has served as a good place for hungry newbies hoping to reach the promised land with their ideas get validation and funding.

Since premiering on Aug. 9, 2009, the award-winning show has given budding entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals and launch them for success. Entrepreneurs make business presentations to a panel of investors or sharks who decide whether to invest in their company.

Unlike the predatory sharks in the sea, when these particular business sharks on TV take a bite of your innovation, it is a priceless validation and provides funding that could transform your startup company.

Idaho-based startup xCraft Enterprises Inc. (which is currently running a crowdfunding investment campaign on StartEngine) pitched the sharks in October 2015. Confident it had invented a drone that could revolutionize the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market, the company appeared on episode 5 of season 7, presented the idea, and luckily struck a deal with the 5 sharks taking a bite of the company. 

JD Claridge, an aerospace engineer, founded xCraft in 2014. He recruited Charles Manning, CEO of mobile-analytics firm Kochava, to help build the company.

Claridge and Manning were hoping to get $500,000 for 20% equity and walked away with $1.5 million for 25% and the 5 sharks as investors — a huge validation of their idea.

They impressed the sharks with a video demonstration of the X PlusOne, a fast hybrid drone that incorporates 2 key features — vertical takeoff and landing and fast, efficient flight. It is a quadcopter combined with a flying wing. The quadcopter gives the user the ability of precision vertical takeoffs, landings, and hover capabilities, and a flying wing enables efficient forward flight. (Read more about xCraft’s appearance on Shark Tank here.)

America’s Drone Company

Dubbed “America’s Drone Company,” xCraft designs and manufactures customized, unmanned aerial systems for enterprise and military markets. The launch on “Shark Tank” opened the gates of an arsenal of innovative, patented drone systems that have forever changed the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landscape.

The company believes the drone market — which has players like GoPro Inc. GPRO, AeroVironment Inc. AVAV, and AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc. UAVS — lacks innovation and improvement. Before entering the industry, xCraft observed a gap in the market for well-built drones that could fly extremely fast, have better battery life, and even communicate with their counterparts.

The Idaho-based startup states it is building faster, more efficient drones — like Panadrone — with uniquely patented technology to take the drone industry to new heights, improving safety, health, and quality of life for people all over the world.

The company believes its technology is ready for takeoff today and could be what investors are looking for — if all 5 of ABC’s wanted in on this deal, other people may too.

You should read the Offering Circular and Risks related to this offering before investing. This Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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