Posted: 2019-03-06 19:20:32

ehangIt’s always hard to tell what’s happening with Chinese drone manufacturer Ehang, but the latest news seems to indicate they’re poised to be major players in urban air mobility – and ready for a U.S. IPO.

The company first received major buzz in 2016, when they unveiled a prototype of the Ehang 184 passenger drone.  Since then, the company – which also makes a recreational quadcopter called the Ghostdrone, although we can’t find that on their site now; and a commercial quad, the Falcon series –  has had some ups and downs.

After virtually disappearing for some time, Ehang appears to be back in the headlines.  The company closed a U.S. office in 2017, and actually declared bankruptcy in CA – but told DRONELIFE that they were still in a very strong economic position and were refocusing on the commercial market.  Evidently, it’s been a successful strategy: in recent months, the company has announced high profile and impressive manned flight tests, broke a world record for simultaneous flights, and scored a critical partnership with the Chinese government to help develop a regulatory framework for passenger drones.

Now, Reuters reports that the company is ready to raise some more capital.  “Chinese drone maker EHang is planning a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) this year, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter, with one saying it could raise between $400 and $500 million.,” the report says.  “Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are working on the offering, the people said. Another person said the deal was unlikely to be as large as $500 million.”

Chinese companies raised over $9billion in the U.S. last year, and this year looks like another big one.  Many in the drone industry expect an announcement from the world’s largest drone manufacturer, China-based DJI.

According to Reuters, Ehang may still be pretty hard to read.  “Credit Suisse declined to comment. EHang and Morgan Stanley did not reply to requests for comment,” says the report.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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