Singaporian F-drones has announced it has received funding from major shipping companies in its seed investment round. The funding will allow the company to expand its drone delivery operations and develop its delivery drones further.
The funding round was led by Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), with Schulte Group’s Innoport, SEEDS Capital, Entrepreneur First, Orient Ventures, Superangel, and a few Singapore-based angel investors. The company has also received funding from various government agencies over the years.
F-drones is still testing its larger drone, the Hyperlaunch Heavy, capable of carrying up to 100 kg (~220 lbs) payloads up to 100 km (~ 62 m) away. It made it perfect for delivering parts to large ships, docked a few kilometers off the coastline.
Yeshwanth Reddy, cofounder of F-drones, said:
We are very excited to be able to close the round with more capital than we initially intended. This demonstrates the industry’s confidence in our capability and vision to make maritime logistics more efficient, sustainable, and safe. The capital will enable us to grow our team, accelerate our technology development and bring an unparalleled solution to market faster.
F-drones has been testing its smaller Hyperlaunch platform capable of delivering up to 5 kilograms (~11 pounds) up to 50 kilometers (~31 miles) away. This has been used to test out the platform before the company moves onto its drone to deliver 100 kilograms (~220 pounds) to destinations up to 100 kilometers (~ 62 miles) away.
Gil Ofer, special advisor for innovation at Eastern Pacific Shipping, added:
EPS is proud to lead F-drones’ first seed round. We firmly believe they will reinvent the shore-to-ship delivery process by being faster, cheaper, and cleaner than any existing model in use today. F-drones also adds an urgent layer of safety for seafarers and service providers by limiting human contact for routine deliveries.
Late last year, F-drones completed 100 test flights, allowing it to collect a lot of valuable data that it has used to improve its processes and drones over time, making everything almost perfect when it plans to leave the testing phase around mid-2021. The drones first took flight back in December 2019, averaging about 1 test flight every three and a half days.
Thomas Ting, chief technology officer, MPA, ended with:
As a key maritime hub, we support maritime technology start-ups that push the envelope driving the next phase of Maritime Singapore’s industry transformation. By providing an enabling environment for solution providers to testbed within our waters and trial new technologies and systems for maritime operations, we accelerate the translation of new technologies into commercial-ready solutions.
F-drones was founded in Singapore in March of 2019, with its prototype hitting the skies in the following months. In December of 2019, the first test delivery was completed, which led the company to receive its BVLOS permit back in April.
Not too long ago, F-drones launched its first commercial drone, named HyperLaunch, with the ability to deliver up to 5 kilograms (~11 pounds) up to 50 kilometers (~31 miles) away. A few months later, F-drones released its HyperLaunch Heavy drone upping the payload capacity to 100 kilograms (~220 pounds) up to a distance of 100 kilometers (~ 62 miles).
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