Wingcopter builds drones for humanitarian, parcel delivery, and logistics applications
German drone start-up Wingcopter announced last Friday that they’ve secured seven-digit financing. The investment as gained from Singapore-based Corecam Capital Partners. Wingcopter develops and produces autonomously flying delivery drones for social and civilian applications that align with the companies’ overall principle: “Technology with a Purpose”. Wingcopter features a patented tilt-rotor mechanism that intends to blend the advantages of commercial drones, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, to increase overall efficiency.
Wingcopter is led by founders Tom Plümmer (CEO), Jonathan Hesselbarth (CTO) and Ansgar Kadura (COO), who intend to bring grow their 35 person team, speed up the development of the next Wingcopter generation, and expand the global maintenance and sales network available for their technologies. Wingcopter currently serves various clients in 10 countries.
Martin Lechner, Managing Partner of Corecam Capital Partners, commented on the investment:
The investment in Wingcopter is the ideal addition to our existing portfolio in the fast-growing drone technology market. Their unique tilt-rotor mechanism as well as the strong global patent protection and the interest of blue-chip customers were decisive for us”
Wingcopter cites the fusion of multiple drone types, in that Wingcopter drones can take off and land vertically in the smallest of spaces while tiltrotors enable accelerated forward flight. This smooth transition enables ranges of up to 75 miles/120 kilometers in one flight and a Guinness world record speed of 150 miles/240 kilometers per hour. Even in strong winds of up to 55 mph/90 km/h or bad weather condition, Wingcopter was able to complete test flights with acceptable results. The long-range drone is targeted for use in life-saving deliveries of medical products such as medicines, vaccines, blood or lab samples as well as for the delivery of parcels or food.
Wingcopter CEO Tom Plümmer commented on the financing round:
We are pleased to have won Corecam as a renowned investor with extensive experience in the drones sector. The financing will help to significantly speed up our growth, meet the already high domestic and international demand and focus on the most promising markets with regards to global expansion. Our vision is to sustainably improve the lives of people around the world with our technology.
Wingcopter has carried out various projects in which medical supplies were delivered over long distances to remote regions, including a six-month pilot project with DHL and the German development agency giz in Tanzania and a project on the South Sea island of Vanuatu, where Wingcopter, on behalf of the local Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF, successfully tested the supply of vaccines for children over several months. In both tests, the Wingcopter reduced the patients’ waiting time from several hours or days to a few minutes.
In Ireland, Wingcopter partnered with Vodafone and local customer SIS to deliver insulin beyond visual line of sight for the first time in Europe and over a distance of 14 miles/21 kilometers during harsh wind conditions. Further successful projects have been carried out in Japan, England, Malawi, Ethiopia, Norway, Canada and the Arctic, where the drone’s performance has been demonstrated under extreme conditions (- 44 °F/- 42 °C).
Wingcopter is currently planning to test a new delivery application in the USA together with a tier-one partner, and is in talks with select investors for their next round of financing.
Why it’s important: Wingcopter’s announcement of a significant fundraising round is grounds for highlighting the companies’ recent successes in creating a feasible multi/tilt-rotor configured eVTOL drone. While the current physical scale of Wingcopter’s drones do not support transportation of heavier payloads (commercial passenger operations) further maturation of the technology could ultimately result in products that allow for transport of greater quantities and volumes of goods, with eventual application to passenger transport. Furthermore, the demonstration of value of Wingcopter’s technology to those in remote communities that greatly benefit from the services provided by these drones is crucial to reinforcement of the societal benefits that eVTOL technology brings to disruptive transportation.