Matternet, the autonomous drone logistics company that last year began delivering medical diagnostic samples in Switzerland, has landed a cool $US16 million from a Series A investment round led by aerospace venture fund Boeing HorizonX.
With the global drone logistics market touted to reach a staggering $US29.6 billion within 9 years according to one report, it’s no wonder that big players like Boeing HorizonX are investing in the drone delivery space.
Boeing HorizonX are joined in the funding round by Swiss Post, who have already partnered with Matternet on the Swiss medical delivery project, and who are also Switzerland’s second largest employer.
With established partnerships with Mercedes-Benz vans and having recently been selected as part of the FAA’s Integration Pilot Program (IPP), Matternet have already positioned themselves as a serious contender in drone logistics.
The funding will be used to assist Matternet’s expansion as a drone delivery service provider within urban environments, both in the US as well as other global operations.
This fits in nicely with their current operations in North Carolina where they are working on the IPP alongside Zipline, Flytrex and the Department of Transportation to explore setting up a network of medical supply distribution centres.
“Matternet’s technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality,” says Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures.
The announcement has comes at the same time as the World Economic Forum has announced their new initiative, ‘Drones for Humanity‘, which will be addressed by the new Drone Innovators Network of which Matternet is a partner.
The strategic partnership with Boeing HorizonX will further cement both Boeing HorizonX and Matternet’s positions in the global drone ecosystem.
“We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream,” says Matternet Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andreas Raptopoulos.
“Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing’s position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions,” says Schettler.
Boeing HorizonX’s involvement in the funding round with Matternet follows their $US5 million injection to drone ops software company Kittyhawk, and is yet another example of the aerospace giant’s leading stance in the global trend towards unmanned aerial solutions.
It’s a future in which Matternet are obviously keen to be a part.
“As we expand Matternet’s U.S. and global operations, we will work with Boeing to make next-generation aerial logistics networks a reality and transform our everyday lives,” concludes Raptopoulos.