LAS VEGAS – The news that action-camera maker GoPro ( GPRO ) is exiting the drone business was welcomed by rival flying camera maker Mota Group.
“It was music to my ears,” Mota Group Chief Executive Michael Faro told Investor’s Business Daily at CES 2018, the four-day consumer electronics show, which ended Friday. Mota makes the Lily Next-Gen camera drone, which went on sale late last year.
GoPro announced Jan. 8 that it will leave the drone market after selling its remaining Karma inventory.
“Although Karma reached the No. 2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market,” GoPro said in a news release. “Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead.”
Consolidation in the consumer drone market was expected, Mota’s Faro said. Today, Chinese drone maker DJI is the clear market share leader.
“In a year or two, I think it will be DJI, Lily and everybody else,” Faro said.
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Mota is preparing for initial public offering in the weeks ahead. It hopes to use the proceeds from the IPO for working capital to ramp up production of its Lily drone and other general corporate purposes.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company, which also sells JetJat brand toy drones, is not profitable. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, Mota lost $4.71 million on sales $4.44 million. That compares with a loss of $2.43 million on sales of $3.98 million in the year-earlier period.
Mota’s Lily Next-Gen drone starts at $699 for a package that includes two rechargeable batteries. The lightweight drone features flying modes such as “follow me,” 360-degree orbit and stable hovering. It also has one-touch take-off, landing and return.
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