Flying iPhone Raises $1.5M on ABC’s Shark Tank [VIDEO]


JD Claridge, founder of a startup called ‘xCraft’, and his partner veteran software developer Charles Manning, taught a master class on ABC’s popular reality show Shark Tank before a panel of celebrity investors, raising $1.5 million using an amazing flying iPhone product. Their pitch to the celebrity investors “was a thing of beauty”, says Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

Phone drone on rock 2

The product, called the PhoneDrone, consists of four propellers and a plastic shell to turn an iPhone into a self-navigating drone that can follow you down the street hovering just over your head and shooting video. “I’m just amazed,” says Claridge. “We got more money than what we asked for—three times as much—and we got all five sharks on board.” The show raised xCraft’s valuation to $6 million within 12 minutes, breathing new life into the PhoneDrone’s KickStarter.

The pitch. The highlight is when Claridge pivots from the drone he walked in with—the $1,800 X PlusOne—to the one in his back pocket. Unfolding the propellers and slotting in his iPhone he explains that smartphones today are equipped with most of the expensive components of a drone—gyroscopes, accelerometers, GPS, cameras. That allows xCraft to bring PhoneDrone’s projected retail price down to about $300.

The deal. Manning shows how it’s done, pulling together a Shark Tank syndicate on the fly. Watch for the moment when it dawns on Cuban that the pitch may be too good to be true, and watch Manning move him past that.

Check out the following video clip from the show:


  • Tim

    I would not put my $1000+ iphone in a drone.

  • Apple would be happy about this.
    Their app “Find my iPhone” will get record usage lol

  • Tim

    I doubt Apple would approve an app that encourages people to launch their phones into the sky. Also, I googled this and it’s on kickstarter. I think the Shark’s did some DD and bailed.

  • Chrome262

    So they invested in the ultimate selfie stick? Always thought those guys on Shark tank or dragons den where just morons.

  • Ron

    They (who happen to be successful billionaires) obviously see a lot of applications and opportunity with the product, where as the average low-income moron sees only a “selfie stick”.

  • Johnny

    Did you even watch the video clip? It’s been explained. “You think” some of the Sharks bailed? ROLF!

  • Prailor

    great news for apple also, you will need a second iPhone to fly it.