Boeing HorizonX invests $16 million in autonomous drone delivery startup Matternet
Matternet, the Menlo Park, California-based autonomous drone delivery startup, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to expand its U.S. and global operations in urban environments. The latest round was led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures, with participation from Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital.
Founded in 2011 by Andreas Raptopoulos, Arturo Pelayo, Dimitar Pachov, and Paola Santana, Matternet is the developer of the world’s leading technology platform for on-demand aerial delivery in urban environments. The company provides its technology platform as a service to healthcare, e-commerce and logistics organizations. In March 2017, Matternet became the first company in the world to be authorized for full operations of drone logistics networks over densely populated areas in Switzerland.
Leveraging its Matternet Station, M2 drone and Cloud platform, the company has achieved safe flights over densely populated areas and partnered with Swiss Post for on-demand deliveries of medical samples to hospitals in Switzerland. Matternet was selected in May of this year to carry out drone logistics operations for US hospitals under the FAA’s drone integration program. Matternet is also the exclusive partner of Mercedes-Benz Vans for integrating its drone logistics system with Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Commenting on the investment, Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said, “Matternet’s technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality.” He went on to say that the investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing’s position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions.
Matternet’s strategic partnership with Boeing and financing round builds on the company’s strong momentum in the urban drone delivery space over the past year. With its launch of permanent healthcare operations in Switzerland, continued partnership with Mercedes-Benz
Vans, and being chosen to participate in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP), Matternet is helping to establish the framework that will enable a new layer of on-demand, urban transportation in the
U.S. and abroad.
“Between the company’s success in Switzerland and being selected by the FAA to test unmanned aerial networks in the U.S., we are excited to work together to reimagine how the world connects and shape the next generation of transportation solutions,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures.
“We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream,” said Matternet founder and CEO Andreas Raptopoulos. “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. “The Sony Innovation Fund is always looking for opportunities to invest
In May 2018, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration program aimed at accelerating integration of unmanned aircraft into national airspace. As part of the program, Matternet will work with hospitals, universities and transportation agencies in California and North Carolina to facilitate on-demand delivery of medical supplies and samples. The operations will involve Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights over densely populated areas, similar to those carried out in Switzerland.
“Today, Matternet joined an initiative to shape the future of mobility as part of the World Economic Forum. The company will participate in the Drone Innovators Network to accelerate a safe, sustainable, global mobility system focused on improving people’s lives,” Boeing HorizonX Ventures said a public release.
“We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream,” said Matternet Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andreas Raptopoulos. “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.”
The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy and data storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion, and Internet of Things connectivity.