Large unmanned cargo aircraft manufacturer, Natilus, announced it has closed a second round of funding from Seraph Group Starburst Ventures, Gelt VC, Outpost Capital and Draper Associates. The company is working towards a working prototype in 2017 and product launch in 2020.
As the long-haul cargo industry has made huge strides in efficiency gains and cost reduction due to technology innovation, the $15.5 trillion global freight market is poised for disruption since it strives to provide customers cheaper delivery solutions beyond the decades-old boats and aircraft that function as its primary sources of transportation.
Natilus has recognized a gap in the air and sea cargo market, offering a UAV that challenges current incumbents on price and speed of commercial-scale freight delivery.
In China, the logistic sector has been growing rapidly domestically, also will be getting prepared for international growth — Natilus is set to do exactly that,” said Ryan Wang, Founding Partner of Outpost Capital. While utilizing turbofan and turboprop engines, scaling to 950,000-pound airplanes carrying 120 tons over trans-Pacific routes. The prototype will be a 12,000-pound drone capable of carrying 2 tons over 1,000 nautical miles, and will be capable of taking off and landing at local regional airports and will feature retractable landing gear.
“The foundation of our thesis is to align and support the outliers that are pushing the boundaries in frontier tech, and we see Natilus as a first mover that is poised to impact global freight in a positive and meaningful way,” said Jake Chapman, Partner at Gelt VC. “With a high caliber team out of Boeing, Airbus and the drone sector, Natilus’s ability to dramatically reduce the cost and time of transporting cargo bodes well for the sector.”
“Natilus is well positioned to be the leader in fast inexpensive delivery of goods,” said Tim Draper, Founding Partner of Draper Associates. “It turns out that a self-flying vehicle can be more reliable and less expensive than one with a human in it.”
The new round of funding will enable Natilus to scale the team to complete design of a 12,000-pound e-commerce drone, and in tangent develop the flight-testing operation for a 2200-pound, 30-foot prototype.
Natilus Inc. founded in 2014 by a group of aircraft designers and army drone specialists, is a manufacturer of large unmanned cargo aircraft which introduce a cheaper method to transfer products globally.
Natilus is a cargo capacity UAV that can be operated at 50% the price of a Boeing 777 freighter, another generation cargo carrier, with delivery capability of 120 tons over long-haul distances.