June 27, 2018: Boeing HorizonX Ventures, US-based aircraft manufacturer’s venture arm, has led a $16 million, Series A investment in Matternet, a Menlo Park, California-based autonomous delivery drone startup. Other participants are Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital.
With this funding, Matternet aims to expand its US and global operations.
Matternet's advanced logistics platform, combined with Boeing's expertise in complex logistics, integration and manufacturing capabilities will further enable reliable, efficient air cargo transportation.
“Matternet's technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing's position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions.”
Last month, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration programme aimed at accelerating integration of unmanned aircraft into national airspace. As part of the programme, Matternet will work with hospitals, universities and transportation agencies in California and North Carolina to facilitate on-demand delivery of medical supplies and samples.
“We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and chief executive officer, Matternet.
Matternet became the world's first company to receive authorisation to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland in 2017. It has also partnered with Swiss Post for on-demand deliveries of medical samples to hospitals in Switzerland.