A second Chinese drone startup has disclosed major funding this week. Intel announced it put $60 million into Shanghai-based , just two days after rival EHANG .
Both EHANG and Yuneec are up against , yet another Chinese drone startup, which to build a software ecosystem for developers and , called SkyFund, for investments in businesses related to unmanned aerial vehicles.
In a (embedded below), Yuneec founder Tian Yu says his company’s drones, which include versions for consumer and enterprise users, differentiate by being easy to use, with a built-in screen for a controller, so even newbies can fly them just five minutes after unboxing.
Intel and Yuneec plan to collaborate on projects, but have not revealed what they are going to develop. This is the third drone startup Intel has invested in so far. The other two are , which makes commercial drone software (and ) and , a sensor hardware maker and data analysis platform.
The drone market is expected to and venture capital firms are pouring funding into startups. , drone companies had raised $172 million by May 2015, more than the previous three years combined.
This means that the consumer drone market is becoming crowded and companies like Yuneec, EHANG, DJI, and U.S. rival 3D Robotics will have to focus on honing UAVs and software for business users. By investing in startups that cover drone hardware, software, and data analysis, Intel looks set to start building an ecosystem that can not only use its semiconductors, but also diversify revenue beyond chips as it .