The $22 million Series A investment in German drone delivery company Wingcopter is the latest large funding announcement in the drone industry. While investors may be getting more picky, the appetite for proven solutions in drone technology is still strong, as the Wingcopter investment indicates..
Wingcopter has rapidly become a major international name in delivery drones for commercial and humanitarian applications. Wingcopter holds the Guiness world speed record (240 km/hour) and their unique design stands out from other solutions on the market. The Wingcopter 178 hovers like a multicopter, but moves forward as a fixed wing, with an elegant transition between the two modes. Wingcopter has a special focus on healthcare-related applications: their customizable payload system can accomodate a wide variety of cargo. The company is working on a long-term COVID 19 response project in Malawi, and have major international partnerships including UNICEF.
The Wingcopter investment round will enable the company to expand both services and production capacity. “Wingcopter will use the funds to strengthen its leadership in drone-based logistics, with a special focus on healthcare-related applications, including the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” says a press release. “At the same time, Wingcopter is well-positioned and ready to establish more partnerships worldwide centering around other fully automated delivery applications.”
The press release provides a summary of how the Wingcopter solution works: The current model, the Wingcopter 178 Heavy Lift, provides both one- and two-way delivery, covering distances of up to 120 kilometers. It can accurately lower a package through a winch mechanism, or land at the point of destination and return to its origin with new payload. To further expand its market reach, Wingcopter is pressing ahead at full speed to launch the next generation of its aircraft, a game-changing delivery drone with unmatched technical specifications. Pre-orders can already be placed.
The company plans to set up a partially automated production line at their Weiterstadt, Germany, headquarters: and they plan to develop a production facility in the U.S. Wingcopter also plans to expand its drone-delivery-as-a-service offerings, and will significantly ramp up their staff, currently at about 100 employees.
Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter, comments: “Our team is driven by tackling the world’s challenges through scalable innovations. This chapter of our journey is dedicated to setting up logistical highways in the sky that leapfrog traditional means of transportation. Poor infrastructure has always been a barrier, especially for healthcare provision, impacting billions of lives – a situation further exacerbated by COVID-19. With the support and powerful networks of our investors we are taking a huge step closer to fulfilling our vision of creating efficient and sustainable drone solutions that improve and save lives everywhere.”
“We have been impressed with the Wingcopter team and the speed at which they have developed the product and built the company. We look forward to watching and supporting them as they help to deliver vaccines in the near-term, and to deliver freight in a more sustainable way over the long-term”, explains Jonathan McQueen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Xplorer Capital.
“The Wingcopter team combines entrepreneurial spirit with superior technology know-how and looks back on an impressive number of worldwide drone projects. This is what it takes to conquer a rapidly growing market such as the international drone market. We are excited to support Wingcopter on its flight towards becoming a global leader in the international drone business and look forward to working together with the team and founders”, says Benjamin Krahmer, Managing Director of Futury Regio Growth Fund and Futury Ventures.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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