Drone manufacturer Matternet Inc. has scooped up nearly $9.5 million to fund their line of delivery drones.
The SEC reports that the drone company based in Menlo Park, CA has raised almost $9.5 million out of a $11.5 million goal in a funding round that has attracted over 30 investors so far. Investors in previous rounds include Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreeson Horowitz, LA-based Queensbridge Venture Capital, and NY firm Winklevoss Capital.
Matternet ONE is the manufacturer’s flagship product, a drone system specially designed for drone delivery. According to the company’s website, the drone “revolutionizes last-mile logistics.” The drone offers a centrally-located payload for easy loading and unloading. The Matternet cloud-based routing system is designed to make the drone autonomous, and guide the Matternet ONE “along a secure route at low altitude – between 50-100 meters above ground – adjusting for inclement weather, avoiding tall buildings, mountains and restricted airspace.” The company also says that the drone offers multiple features – including guarded propellers and an on-board parachute- to make it safe to fly near people.
Matternet ONE prototypes are currently being flown internationally. Other companies developing delivery drones include South African company Airborne and Ren0, NV based Flirtey. Flirtey has partnered with NASA and the FAA to successfully test drone delivery in the US, including rural, urban, and ship-to-shore applications.
Some large organizations are developing their own aircraft. Retail giant Amazon has announced that they are now testing their drone delivery program overseas in the UK. The FAA recently announced a partnership with Google to test drone delivery at an FAA authorized testing site. With new accommodating regulations – such as flight over people – promised for the next year, it looks like drone delivery may be taking off soon.
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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