Uber’s Co-Founder, Garrett Camp, is quick to spot a promising future-oriented enterprise – not that it is difficult when it comes to the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer of 2020. Wingcopter has seen vertical take-off in more ways than one this past year. It is its unique mix of technology and social responsibility that propels the company forward.
Having raised USD 22 million in a Silicon Valley-based Xplorer Capital-led Series A funding round at the start of this year, and now preparing for its Series B funding round, Wingcopter has also caught the attention of Garrett Camp’s Expa team. Expa is a 2014-incepted network that supports start-ups in getting their ideas to market. It includes partners who have founded or led successful companies such as Uber, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, StumbleUpon, AddThis, MetroLyrics, Virgin Galactic, and Envoy, and who are therefore aware of the challenges early-stage companies face.
From A to B
Expa announced on 23SEP21 that it plans a strategic investment in the leading German autonomous delivery drone company, supporting it in much the same way as Wingcopter operates: getting things to where they need to go, urgently. “Just how Uber revolutionized the way people get from point A to point B, Wingcopter is providing that same level of innovation to the transport of goods including urgently needed medicine and medical supplies, groceries, or freshly prepared food, and even has the power to automate e-commerce. Accelerated by the tailwinds of the global pandemic, we approach an inflection point in consumer adoption and industry regulation. Wingcopter is ideally positioned to capitalize on this momentum thanks to its cutting-edge delivery drone, software and services,” Garrett Camp, Founder, Expa, stated. “Given the team’s track record and impressive technology stack, Wingcopter will have a deep impact on supply chain transformation, logistics and on-demand delivery.”
Building next generation champions
Expa’s mission is focused on backing tech-enabled companies that are producing the next generation of category champions and solving global challenges through innovation, and it has aided a number of industry-shaping companies across transportation and logistics, such as Beacon, Aero, and Convoy. With Wingcopter, it sees “cutting-edge drone technology and platform set to disrupt supply chain and logistics industries across the globe.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Expa and Garrett which bring a brilliant network and years of experience building and globally scaling companies that disrupt entire industries,” Tom Plümmer, CEO & Co-Founder, Wingcopter, exclaimed. “With their hands-on approach ‘By builders for builders’, Expa is actively supporting our strategy to create national-scale logistical highways in the sky.”
Wingcopter 198 flies blood samples across Germany
Meanwhile, Wingcopter has also continued its various partner projects. What is already successfully being done by drones in African countries since years, is now making its way to Germany, too. Deploying Wingcopter’s flagship aircraft, the state-of-the-art, all-electric eVTOL delivery drone, Wingcopter 198, 250 grams of blood samples were carried 26 kilometers from Greifswald and Wolgast, as part of MV|LIFE|DRONE-Challenge (MVLD-Challenge). This is a project run by the University Medical Center Greifswald and DRF Luftrettung, and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and Digitalization of the German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, aiming to improve structures of regional emergency care by integrating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS, Unmanned Aerial Systems) into the rescue chain and medical emergency transports. The flight took just 18 minutes and was thus almost twice as fast as any ground-based transport – a huge benefit when it comes to emergencies where every second counts.
Praise and continuation
Ansgar Kadura, co-founder and CSO of Wingcopter, concluded: “With this project, we have demonstrated that we can also improve medical care and quality of life in rural areas in Germany. With our new unmanned aerial vehicle, the Wingcopter 198, this can be carried out even more efficiently in the future. We look forward to continued collaboration with the project team at the Department of Anesthesiology as part of the MV|LIFE|DRONE Challenge and beyond.”
Greifswald University Medical Center is planning to set-up permanent flight connections to local hospitals as soon as possible, and also wishes to deploy drones to support first responders to accident and emergency sites, for example by quickly transporting medication, transfusions, or emergency medical equipment such as defibrillators to the scene of the accident.
"We are continuing to work towards the goal of shortening long distances in the region for the benefit of our population. Key to this is the integration of new technologies into existing rescue and care systems as part of comprehensive care concepts," Dr. Mina Baumgarten, project manager of the MV|LIFE|DRONE-Challenge project, outlined: "The next step on the way to realizing this must be to transfer tests into longer-term use under real-world circumstances; the conditions in the region are ideal for this.”
Now, with Expa behind it, Wingcopter will no doubt be propelled forward even faster. Whether Expa can also help accelerate drone operating conditions and regulations within Germany/Europe, remains to be seen.
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