Wingcopter receives $42M in new investment; to expand services globally
The funds will be used to extend the company's drone delivery services abroad, ramp up manufacturing, expedite R&D activities, and hire 80 additional personnel.
Wingcopter has secured a $42 million funding round from well-known financial and strategic investors. The fresh funds are part of a Series A extension round, which brings the company's total equity raising to more than $60 million.
As new owners, the leading German retailer REWE Group, as well as German investors Salvia and XAI technologies, joined the company. They were joined by Japanese company ITOCHU, as well as existing investors Futury Capital from Germany and Xplorer Capital from Silicon Valley.
REWE Group, one of Germany's leading food retailers with 12,000 shops throughout Europe, is an appropriate addition to Wingcopter's investor base and a strong indication that Wingcopter's future will include more than just medical drone delivery services.
Salvia, known for its early investment in German biotech champion BioNTech, will actively assist Wingcopter's growth route with its longstanding business building knowledge.
XAI technologies, established by machine vision pioneer Enis Ersü, will provide value because of the team's extensive expertise and experience in sensor technology and industrial automation. ITOCHU, a Fortune Global 500 company, is one of Japan's top trading corporations and will provide fresh access to the potential Japanese market.
Wingcopter will be able to extend its drone delivery services internationally and ramp up manufacturing of the Wingcopter 198, the world's most efficient eVTOL delivery drone. Wingcopter has seen an increase in demand for its new unmanned aircraft system and has already sold the majority of manufacturing slots for this and next year.
Wingcopter's German manufacturing plant is built to produce thousands of Wingcopter drones per year and will shortly begin partially automated production operations, considerably speeding up the production process.
Furthermore, Wingcopter intends to use the financial infusion to accelerate the company's R&D efforts for new product features, as well as to hire 80 additional personnel across all departments over the next several months. The latest capital offering comes shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepted the Airworthiness Criteria for the Wingcopter 198, marking a significant milestone in the company's flagship aircraft's U.S. Type Certification Process.
"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," said Tom Plümmer, Co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter. "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."
Christoph Eltze, Executive Board member Digital, Customer and Analytics and IT at REWE Group, adds, "REWE Group is one of the most innovative companies in German retail. For years, we have relied on strong partnerships with innovation leaders, especially in emerging trends. With Wingcopter, we have found such a new partner."
"With its disruptive technology and highly motivated team, Wingcopter has the potential to become a frontrunner in the drone delivery space. In the face of global challenges such as climate change, innovative companies such as Wingcopter are needed to lead an industry like logistics into a sustainable, more efficient future. We are pleased to accompany this success story from now on as an investor and sparring partner," adds Helmut Jeggle, Founder and Managing Partner of Salvia.
"We are excited to join the Wingcopter team on their way to the next growth milestones as a leader in drone delivery logistics," explains Enis Ersü, Managing Owner of XAI technologies and former CEO of ISRA VISION. "Being an investor and a technology partner at the same time our team at XAI technologies is very much looking forward to generating further business potential by integrating advanced key technologies and operational excellence together with the management."
Drone delivery has gained great traction in recent years, with more and more businesses and governments realising the possibilities of speedy and environmentally friendly on-demand deliveries using autonomous cargo drones.
Wingcopter's latest collaboration deal with Continental Drones, which plans to deploy 12,000 Wingcopter drones over the next several years to carry much-needed supplies throughout Sub-Saharan Africa by constructing a new layer of infrastructure in the skies, exemplifies this wonderfully. ITOCHU in Japan and Synerjet in Latin America are two more Authorized Partners that function as strong local operators or distributors in their respective regions. Both became investors in Wingcopter in addition to signing the partnership agreements.
Wingcopter will expand its network operations in Malawi, where it has been active since 2019, with new Wingcopter 198 drones and more hubs, transporting various medical goods – including emergency medicines and COVID vaccines – to remote health centres, in line with the company's goal of saving and improving the lives of people all over the world.