Listen to this article
Wingcopter, a German delivery drone manufacturer and service provider, announced that it raised $42 million from a Series A extension round. The company originally closed its Series A round with $22 million.
Tom Plümmer, Jonathan Hesselbarth and Ansgar Kadura founded the company to help give people access to vital supplies in a matter of hours or minutes instead of the days it usually takes with typical transportation methods. Wingcopter now offers its drone delivery service for humanitarian and commercial applications.
With the latest round of funding, Wingcopter plans to further expand its delivery services globally and ramp up production of the company’s eVTOL delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198.
The Wingcopter 198 is a delivery drone that has a payload capacity of up to 6 kg and a range of 110 km. The drone has a triple drop mode that allows it to deliver up to three separate packages during one flight as long as the total payload is less than 5 kg. At each delivery, the drone shifts from forward flight mode to hover mode, and then lowers the package.
The drone is designed to withstand strong winds and rain. It operates at Level 4 autonomy while flying and during delivery, which makes setup and training quick and ensures stable operations.
Along with ramping up production of the Wingcopter 198, the company plans to use its funding to accelerate R&D efforts with regards to new product features, and to hire on 80 new employees.
“At Wingcopter, we create efficient and sustainable drone solutions to save and improve lives. For this, we are hiring passionate pioneers with whom we build what has not existed before,” Plümmer, now the CEO of Wingcopter, said. “The new funding, combined with growing revenues, puts us in an excellent position to establish our industry-leading drone delivery solution with our customers around the globe to optimize supply chains.”
The funding round included new investors REWE Group, one of Germany’s largest grocery retailers with 12,000 stores across Europe, Salvia, XAI technologies and ITOCHU, a Japanese conglomerate. The round also included previous investors Futury Capital and Xplorer Capital.
Last month, Wingcopter signed a partnership with Continental Drones, a subsidiary of Atlantic Trust Holding, to help establish drone-based delivery networks across the African continent. The two companies plan to deploy 12,000 Wingcopter drones over the next years.