Boeing invests in on-demand UAV delivery startup

June 26, 2018 //By Rich Pell
Boeing invests in on-demand UAV delivery startup
Aerospace giant Boeing (Chicago, IL) has announced an investment - through its venture arm Boeing HorizonX Ventures - in Matternet (Menlo Park, CA), a startup developing safe, on-demand unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery operations in urban environments.

Matternet claims to be the developer of the world's leading autonomous drone logistics platform. Its advanced autonomous logistics platform, says Boeing, combined with Boeing's own expertise in complex logistics, integration, and manufacturing capabilities will further enable reliable, efficient cargo air transportation.

Last year, Matternet became the first company to receive authorization to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland. Leveraging its Matternet Station interface for peer-to-peer drone delivery, M2 drone, and Cloud software platform, the company says it 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's technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality," says Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. "Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing's position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions."

In May of this year, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 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.

"We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream," says 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."

Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the $16 million, Series A investment in Matternet. Other participants included Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund, and Levitate Capital.


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