In a run-up to its upcoming Series B round, German drone delivery startup Wingcopter has received funding from Drone Fund, a Japan-based venture capital firm dedicated exclusively to investments within the drone technology ecosystem.
Though Wingcopter hasn’t revealed the exact amount it has received, we know the investment comes from Drone Fund’s $90 million strong third fund (Drone Fund III). Drone Fund’s current portfolio includes a range of organizations working across the drone space – from hardware and software to core technology and integration. However, this is the first time the VC firm is investing in eVTOL drone technology or in a German company.
It, of course, helps that Wingcopter already has deep ties with Japan.
Last year, the company signed a partnership agreement with Japan’s biggest airline, ANA, to build a drone delivery network focusing on rural areas. In addition, the drone company is working on a strategic partnership with one of the largest Japanese sogo shosha (general trading companies) through Wingcopter’s Authorized Partnership Program (WAPP). The WAPP network will also allow the company to operate, promote, and distribute the world’s first triple-drop delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, in Japan.
Wingcopter sees Japan as an attractive market for its solutions, with CEO Tom Plümmer saying:
This investment comes at a time when we are intensifying our efforts on the Japanese market. We are convinced that the Drone Fund team will open doors, allowing us to bring drone delivery services to more customers in Japan and beyond. It also makes us really proud that we are the only eVTOL drone company in their portfolio of about 50 investments.
Meanwhile, Kotaro Chiba, founder and managing partner of Drone Fund, is convinced that working with the Wingcopter team will lead to the development of drone logistics in both Japan and abroad. Chiba says:
We have seen the air logistics network in Japan developing at an accelerated pace with the lifting of the ban on Level 3 flights in 2021. Wingcopter is one of the most reliable and cutting-edge eVTOL hardware, software, and AI providers in the world, with successful experience in Japan. We are honored to be able to invest in such a great team.
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