Zero-degree intelligent control layoffs, hundreds of drones, surface prosperity, low tide

Falling from the vent, the zero-degree intelligence that once received much attention is a bit off guard. In September 2016, the company announced the completion of a 150-billion-yuan round of financing, including Qualcomm Ventures, Minghang Capital and Cinda. Just last month, the drone company Yihang also suddenly announced the layoffs of more than 70 people.

Pigs that are blown up in the air will sooner or later fall. One of them is the drone industry that has been hot in the past year.

On January 3, the first working day of the new year, 134 employees of the drone brand's zero-intelligent control were forced to leave. In an interview with reporters, Zero-Intelligence CEO Yang Jianjun confirmed the news of the company's layoffs. “The number of people has increased dramatically over the past year, the management radius has exceeded the scope of capabilities, and layoffs are also due to the company’s operating costs.”

Another related person of the company said that layoffs are a normal structural adjustment, and each company is in a certain stage of growth. At present, all businesses are in normal operation. However, the reporter noticed on the social network that some of the employees who broke the job broke the news that the main reason for the layoffs was that the company's capital chain was tight, and even the compensation for the departing employees would not be paid until July 2017.

Falling from the vent, the zero-degree intelligence that once received much attention is a bit off guard. In September 2016, the company announced the completion of a 150-billion-yuan round of financing, including Qualcomm Ventures, Minghang Capital and Cinda. Just last month, the drone company Yihang also suddenly announced the layoffs of more than 70 people.

According to a report released by KPMG and CBInsights, the global drone industry only received 13 investments totaling $55 million in the third quarter of 2016, compared with 13 financings totaling $106 million in the previous quarter. The investment scale has shrunk by nearly half. The drone industry, once sought after in the capital market, seems to have reached a crossroads where the fire has cooled.

Surface boom

Zero Intelligence was founded in 2007 and started as a professional-grade drone. In 2015, the heat of domestic drones began to heat up, and Shenzhen Dajiang and Guangzhou billion air stations became the hottest emerging star enterprises.

Under this trend, Zero Intelligence has also begun to enter the consumer-grade UAV field, and quickly announced the joint launch with Shenzhen Leibo Technology to jointly launch the Xplorer. Last year, Zero Accusation and Tencent jointly released the Pocket UAV DOBBY.

Yang Jianjun was optimistic in an interview with reporters that drones will be fully erupted and popularized in the second half of 2016. "Through the smart phone market in recent years, the drone industry chain has already matured. The performance of the drone's chip has been greatly improved, and the industry has already had the conditions for take-off."

However, the frequently released products did not cause major repercussions in the market, and the industry did not have the take-off conditions as he expected. The UAV products on the market have common problems such as high pricing and experience primary, and the demand for low frequency is not just needed compared with other terminals such as mobile phones and computers, so prosperity has become the illusion of the surface.

Coincidentally, it is also possible to choose to cut off the staff together with the zero-degree intelligence control. At the beginning of December 2016, Yihang was also exposed to more than 70 layoffs. Yihang was established in April 2014. In just 8 months, it won a $10 million Series A financing led by GGV Jiyuan Capital. Subsequently, Yihang completed another round of financing of up to 42 million US dollars, Gimpo Investment led the investment, GGV Jiyuan Capital, Zhenge Fund, Lebo Capital and other investment, its valuation was 100 times more than the beginning of its establishment .

The favor of capital is also accompanied by scale expansion. It is reported that at the beginning of last year, the number of employees of the Zero Intelligence Control has doubled to more than 500. The number of employees who have been laid off is nearly one-fourth. More retired employees broke the news that they were forced to leave their jobs and were removed from the work group without their knowledge.

However, the above-mentioned relevant persons did not respond to this information. Zhang Yi, CEO of Ai Media Consulting, said in an interview that the consumer-level drone market is highly competitive in homogenization. After the booming investment tide has faded, the competition will be R&D strength, industry chain management and capital. "There will be a batch of drone companies being eliminated this year."

Vertical breakthrough

UAVs have been hailed as the most promising end market after smartphones. In the past two years, a large number of drone companies have entered the industry and are favored by the capital market and have received large investments. According to statistics, there were 38 financing cases in 2014 with a total amount of US$114 million. In 2015, 74 financing cases occurred, raising US$454 million, a three-fold increase from 2014. By 2016, this trend has begun to slow down.

But under the favor of capital, the performance of the drone market is not ideal. Insiders of the zero-intelligent agent "Longmai UAV" revealed that the company had accumulated funds on the goods last year. It was originally planned to sell 40,000 units a month. According to the half-year plan, it is about 200,000 units sold. Only sold 50,000, DOBBY's expected sales target has not been achieved.

In response, Yang Jianjun responded that with the continuous upgrading of software and functions, the number of users and usage frequency of DOBBY has increased significantly, and the total number of landings in a single month has risen from 50,000 per month in the peak period of crowdfunding in July 2016. In August, it fell back slightly and continued to grow to 100,000+ monthly in December.

In fact, the short battery life and the large external factors have all contributed to the drone technology, which is difficult to shake the market. It still has a long time from the real popularity. Therefore, Dajiang and Zero Intelligence have shifted their strategies to the vertical industry.

However, in the vertical field, the layout of the industrial chain in Dajiang should be more perfect. Taking the application of drones in agricultural plant protection as an example, Hu Yang, the head of the agricultural machinery sales in Dajiang, told reporters that Dajiang is deeply cultivating Shanghai and building a complete “sales, training and service” agricultural drone in the local area. Industrial chain, radiating the Yangtze River Delta region. “Either the agent system, the flying hand training and the quick repair point, we have formed a system and promoted this model to the whole country.”

The industrial status of the Dajiang Unicorn is hard to break through. The IDC report pointed out that in the third quarter of 2016, the top three manufacturers of China's aerial drone market shipments were Dajiang, Zero Zhizhi, and Parrot, of which Dajiang occupied 52% of the market share, and zero-degree intelligent control climbed to 24.3%.

Zhang Yi believes that because the product form and application scenarios of drones are still relatively simple, the market size will not show explosive growth in the short term. In the future, it will be the stage of deep penetration of major enterprises into the vertical field. This will be a huge test for the capital investment and management level of enterprises, and it is also the process of big waves.

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