Wingcopter receives investment from Japan-based DRONE FUND
The investment made is called DRONE FUND III (officially DRONE FUND III Investment Limited Partnership), and comes in the run-up of Wingcopter’s Series B investment round.
German drone delivery pioneer Wingcopter receives investment from DRONE FUND, a Japan-based venture capital company specializing in drone – and air mobility-related startups. The investment is made out of DRONE FUND’s JPY 10 billion/USD 90 million strong third fund, called DRONE FUND III (officially DRONE FUND III Investment Limited Partnership), and comes in the run-up of Wingcopter’s Series B investment round.
It is DRONE FUND’s first investment in eVTOL drone technology as well as its first investment in a German company.
Last year, the company signed a partnership agreement with Japan’s biggest airline ANA. Together with Wingcopter, ANA plans to build a drone delivery network to help improve the quality of life in rural areas across the country. Extensive trials have already taken place in the past months.
In addition, Wingcopter is about to announce the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with one of the largest Japanese sogo shosha (Japanese general trading companies) through Wingcopter’s Authorized Partnership Program (WAPP). The company will act as a distributor and local technical support provider for Wingcopter’s newest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Wingcopter 198, in Japan. The WAPP is Wingcopter’s global network of strategic partners. It includes drone operators, resellers, and agents that are trained and allowed to operate, promote, and distribute the world’s first triple-drop delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198.
“This investment comes at a time when we are intensifying our efforts on the Japanese market. We are convinced that the DRONE FUND team will open doors, allowing us to bring drone delivery services to more customers in Japan and beyond. It also makes us really proud that we are the only eVTOL drone company in their portfolio of about 50 investments. I believe the investment is a testament to the fact that the Wingcopter 198 is really leading the way of delivery drone technology”, says Tom Plümmer, CEO of Wingcopter.
Kotaro Chiba, founder and managing partner of DRONE FUND, comments, “We have seen the air logistics network in Japan developing at an accelerated pace with the lifting of the ban on Level 3 flights in 2021. Wingcopter is one of the most reliable and cutting-edge eVTOL hardware, software and AI providers in the world, with successful experience in Japan. We are honored to be able to invest in such a great team. We look forward to working with the Wingcopter team to contribute to the development of drone logistics in Japan and abroad.”
DRONE FUND joins existing investors Xplorer Capital, Futury Capital, Expa, Hessen Kapital III, and Corecam Capital Partners. Wingcopter is currently in advanced investor discussions for its upcoming Series B round.