In a world defined by rapid technological advancements, Wingcopter is spearheading the drone delivery revolution. The German startup, which specializes in drone delivery, recently secured a hefty €40 million (around $44 million) investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This substantial cash influx will propel Wingcopter's innovative aspirations and expansion plans.
On May 10, 2023, Wingcopter clinched the investment to bolster its hardware line development and launch a new logistics and delivery business, supported by the company's drone fleet. The capital will fuel Wingcopter's rapid growth, deepen its research and development, and broaden its operational scope, covering an array of markets and industries.
The EIB funding swells Wingcopter's total capital to €100 million. Retail giant REWE, Xplorer Capital, Japan's ITOCHU, and Expa, an investment firm initiated by Uber's Garrett Camp, also contributed in previous fundraises. Wingcopter's unique selling point lies in its innovative technology, which includes a drone blending multi-copters' versatility with fixed-wing aircraft's efficacy.
This hybrid design facilitates Wingcopter drones to emulate helicopters' vertical takeoff and landing while reaching the speed and range of airplanes. With a maximum speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) and a 120 kilometers (75 miles) range, the Wingcopter 198 ensures swift, efficient deliveries of up to 10 pounds over distances of 60 miles.
Boasting various payload options and a sophisticated collision avoidance system, Wingcopter's drones can handle diverse delivery requirements, from e-commerce packages and medical supplies to local logistics and humanitarian aid, making the company a significant entity in the burgeoning drone delivery landscape.
Wingcopter co-founder and CEO Tom Plümmer said: “We would like to thank the European Investment Bank for their TRUST in us and their support as we strive to become a global leader in the drone-based delivery of urgently needed goods, from medical supplies to groceries. Our goal is also to improve lives by creating many jobs — in R&D and manufacturing at our headquarters in Europe, as well as in the Countries where we provide services, where we train and qualify local young people to operate our drone delivery networks. It requires strong partners like the EIB to build reliable, efficient and safe delivery Drone Technology and logistics services.”
At present, Wingcopter, in collaboration with UNICEF, employs a mix of proprietary software on its devices and ERP software from third-party sources like SAP. However, they plan to construct their own logistics and delivery backend to manage their service and drone fleet.
Wingcopter's adoption of drone delivery technology could revolutionize several sectors and society overall. The company's focus is on leveraging its drones to bolster healthcare systems, particularly in isolated regions with limited medical facilities access. Through delivering medical supplies, vaccines, and even performing emergency medical evacuations, Wingcopter aims to bridge healthcare delivery gaps and save lives.
Moreover, Wingcopter's drones could significantly streamline e-commerce and local logistics, responding to the booming demand for online shopping and efficient last-mile delivery solutions. Offering a sustainable and cost-efficient alternative to traditional delivery methods, Wingcopter's drones can potentially reduce traffic congestion, carbon emissions, and delivery times.
“Europe is currently the global leader in cleantech, and we must work hard to maintain this lead. Backing European cleantech pioneers with global reach like Wingcopter is central to our mission. Electric cargo drones are an important vertical segment for a future of sustainable transport and logistics. This investment underlines our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs growing and building advanced green technology businesses in the European Union, strengthening our technological competitiveness, creating highly skilled jobs and opening up new markets, while preserving nature. We are proud to be supporting this European success story,” EIB VP Ambroise Fayolle, responsible for Germany, said in a statement.
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