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RSE Ventures and Lux Capital lead investment drive for Drone Racing League

The Drone Racing League (DRL) has confirmed the closure of an investment round worth more than $12m (€10.8m) as it seeks to bolster its position in the global sports marketplace.

The US-based First Person View (FPV) drone racing organisation, which was founded in 2015, said the investment round has been led by sports and entertainment firm RSE Ventures and venture capital company Lux Capital.

UK pay-television broadcaster Sky this week announced that it had invested $1m in the DRL, along with committing to a media rights package with the league, while a similar agreement was forged with German media company ProSiebenSat.1.

Joining in the investment round is US production and distribution company MGM Television. DRL and MGM Television are also partnering to develop DRL content across a range of unscripted programming.

In addition to Sky, ProSieben and MGM, DRL said the financing also includes: Hearst Ventures; CAA Ventures; Gary Vaynerchuk with Vayner/RSE; Courtside Ventures; Sierra Maya Ventures; Strauss Zelnick, chief executive of Take-Two Interactive Software; Rikard Steiber, senior vice-president of virtual reality at HTC/Vive; Matt Bellamy, lead singer of British rock band Muse; Allen Debevoise, founder of Machinima and Grant Gittlin, chief experience officer of Medialink.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to develop the technology, racecourses, and sporting rules needed to deliver the most elite, competitive, and thrilling drone racing league on the planet,” DRL chief executive and founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski, said. “Having distribution and strategic agreements with ESPN, Sky and 7Sports will bring DRL to tens of millions of viewers around the globe while reflecting a collective commitment to DRL from the world's best sport broadcasting companies.

“Our partnership with MGM Television, led with the keen eye and creativity of Mark Burnett and his team, will introduce new audiences to the sport. With their expertise and our industry leading technology, media production and development of the best competitive racing, we believe we can truly grow a global franchise around this futuristic, high-speed racing sport.”