Volansi, Inc. today announced it has closed $50 million in a Series B round of funding. This follows a $25 million Series A from 2019. The new cash injection will help the company grow its staff, expand existing initiatives, and launch new projects.
Investors really see the value in the Volansi Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) drones. It didn’t take long for their first round to attract Lightspeed Venture Partners and other investors, all of whom see the potential for Volansi’s aircraft. Its workhorse VOLY C10 can carry up to 10 pounds of cargo more than 50 miles. It has already been put to work in the US, the Caribbean, and Africa. Its VOLY M20 can transport 20 pounds or cargo, in addition to 10 pounds of sensor payloads. That larger drone can cruise at 75 miles per hour for up to 350 miles.
Already, Volansi says it’s providing automated delivery of urgent medical supplies and time-critical parts. Think, for example, of a part required by an offshore oil rig. With this new round of funding, the company says it is ready for even greater things:
The combination of our best in class cargo drones and unique software platform set us apart from others in the industry. Closing our Series B with such high-quality investors, especially during these challenging times, is further testament to the venture capital community’s confidence in our business and will allow us to keep pushing the envelope of mobility and robotics.
Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volansi
A few questions
There were a couple of more detailed things we wanted to ask, and so submitted some questions to Volansi. We started by asking what type of deliveries Volansi foresees down the road:
We envision scaling the time-sensitive deliveries we are currently making with our US and global customers, in the construction, oil & gas, mining, and medical industries. Our middle mile, point-to-point delivery service model enables us to transport urgent supplies and parts to reduce operational downtime in the field, while our soft-touch delivery system enables us to drop-off fragile items without the worry of anything breaking. Our interchangeable cargo payload modules allow us to transport temperature-sensitive materials, like medicines or vaccines. As a company, we take an iterative, robotics approach to everything we do. We start slow, test, and learn from every lesson. We plan on continuing to scale up our technology, allowing us to increase payload capacities and range with larger aircraft.
Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volansi
We also pointed out that there’s no shortage of competition. So what differentiates Volansi’s offering?
We offer commercial delivery services by drones without needing any fixed or mobile infrastructure. We engineer, build, and operate our own long-range, high-payload aircraft end-to-end. Beyond the uniqueness of our hybrid propulsion (VTOL + fixed wing) UAVs, Volansi is the only company that focuses on scalable, best-in-class operation practices. In recent recognition, our experienced in-house operations team received the Airmanship Award from the Africa Drone Forum Lake Kivu Challenge for our focus on operational safety and standards. We are also the first drone delivery company to be awarded the Argus Gold Unmanned Operator rating for our safety-first operational processes and procedures.
The Series B was led by Icon Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and YCombinator, along with new investors Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Harpoon Ventures. Volansi also announced that Icon’s managing partner Joe Horowitz and Lightspeed founding partner Barry Eggers will join Volansi’s Board of Directors.
The drone market is very crowded with all sorts of players, but after getting to know Hannan and his team and doing an extensive amount of due diligence, especially with Volansi’s key customers and distribution partners, it became abundantly clear that the company is well-positioned to rapidly build a huge business. We are particularly excited about Volansi’s unique ability to address the medical community with urgent vaccine delivery, particularly in looking ahead to a post-COVID world.
Joe Horowitz, Icon
Broad use-case scenarios
VTOL aircraft, especially those with extended range and decent payload capacity, can do a lot of different things. Volansi has already provided on-demand services for humanitarian purposes, enterprise customers and even the US Defense Department. The investors believe these autonomous machines have huge potential for the future:
The Volansi team has made significant progress since Lightspeed led the company’s Series A back in 2019. We’ve been impressed by the leadership and team’s ability to innovate and execute, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership during this next phase of growth.
Barry Eggers, Lightspeed Founding Partner
More on the investors
This raise involves serious investors. Here’s what Volansi news release says about its partners.
First, Icon Ventures:
Icon Ventures believes that great companies start with extraordinary entrepreneurs. Based in Palo Alto and San Francisco, Icon Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in Series B and C financings. With over $1 billion under management, Icon leads financings alongside the most successful early-stage venture firms in companies that are category winners. Icon Ventures has generated numerous successful exits, including market-leading companies such as Aster Data (Teradata), Bill.com (BILL), FireEye (FEYE), 41st Parameter (Experian), Infinera (INFN), MoPub (Twitter), Opcity (News Corp), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Proofpoint (PFPT) and Teladoc (TDOC).
Volansi News Release
And now, Lightspeed Venture Partners:
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400+ companies globally, including Snap, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, OYO, Guardant, StitchFix, and GrubHub. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $10.5B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe.