- Charl Jooste
Urban Delivery Drones Get Massive Boost From Matternet’s $16 Million Boeing-Led Investment
Video: Youtube user Matternet
Autonomous drone delivery and logistics are set for rapid urban expansion after Matternet received a $16 million Series A injection announced on 26 June 2018. The funding was led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures with Levitate Capital, Sony Innovation Fund and Swiss Post also participating. Matternet intends to use the money to fund U.S. and global expansion.
The race for commercial autonomous delivery drones is clearly on and this funding will give Matternet a major boost in this pursuit.
Matternet has already had a number of successes with one of them being one of the companies chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration in their Unmanned Aircraft System pilot program. Under this program, Matternet is responsible for drone logistics for U.S. hospitals. They have already conducted successful tests delivering pathology work and blood to labs in Zurich, Switzerland.
Managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Brian Schettler said “Matternet’s technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality,” adding, “Between the company’s success in Switzerland and being selected by the FAA to test unmanned aerial networks in the U.S., we are excited to work together to reimagine how the world connects and shape the next generation of transportation solutions.”
Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet added “We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream, as we expand Matternet’s U.S. and global operations, we will work with Boeing to make next-generation aerial logistics networks a reality and transform our everyday lives.
Toshimoto Mitomo, Senior Investment Executive for the Sony Innovation Fund, another participant in the funding explained: “The Sony Innovation Fund is always looking for opportunities to invest at the early stage in ambitious start-ups, and robotics is one of our specific areas of focus.”
“Matternet’s vision to provide hospitals with the ability to transport time-sensitive samples and materials via drone is of particular interest, as it has both great potential as a viable business in multiple countries, while at the same time contributing to the health and well-being of countless people around the world.”
Matternet’s work in healthcare in Switzerland has already seen them successfully deliver more than 850 samples in over 1 700 flights in highly urban areas. They also provide drone integration for Mercedes-Benz Vans.
They intend to expand on their success with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights in Switzerland to deliver on-demand medical and lab samples for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, WakeMed Health and Hospitals and the UC San Diego Health and the City of San Diego.
Matternet was founded in 2014 and this latest funding takes the company to a total of $25 million investment. I am sure we will see even more advancement and development from them in the near future.
SOURCE: sUAS News