Drone company Wingcopter raises $22m

25 Jan 2021485 Views

Image: © Martin Siepmann/Westend61

The German drone developer will use the funding to strengthen its position in drone-based logistics, with a particular focus on healthcare-related applications.

The need for contactless deliveries during the Covid-19 pandemic has sparked more interest in the drone industry. In October last year, Dublin-based drone start-up Manna launched a trial of its delivery drones in Galway in partnership with Tesco.

Now, German-based drone developer Wingcopter is capitalising on the increased interest, securing $22m in Series A funding.

The funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based Xplorer Capital and Futury Regio Growth Fund. Futury Ventures and Hessen Kapital also participated.

Founded in 2017 by Tom Plümmer, Jonathan Hesselbarth and Ansgar Kadura, Wingcopter manufactures and operates uncrewed drones, focusing on the delivery of medical goods as well as parcels and food.

Wingcopter said it will use the $22m funding to strengthen its leadership in drone-based logistics, with a special focus on healthcare-related applications, including the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

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Some of the funding will also be used to set up partially automated serial production at Wingcopter’s new headquarters in Germany. The company plans to grow its team in the fields of flight testing, certification, production and software development, specifically focused on ground and flight control software, embedded systems, software architecture and cloud infrastructure.

Plümmer, who is CEO of Wingcopter, said the company is dedicated to setting up “logistical highways in the sky” that can leapfrog traditional transportation methods.

“Poor infrastructure has always been a barrier, especially for healthcare provision, impacting billions of lives – a situation further exacerbated by Covid-19,” he said.

“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.”

Jonathan McQueen, co-founder and managing partner of Xplorer Capital, said: “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.”

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com