Boeing has invested $16 million investment in Matternet an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone developer which is looking to further grow its operations.
The aircraft manufacturer’s Boeing HorizonX Ventures arm led the investment the Californian based start-up with participation by Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital.
Boeing said Matternet’s “advanced logistics platform – combined with Boeing’s expertise in complex logistics, integration and manufacturing capabilities – will further enable reliable, efficient cargo air transportation”.
Matternet became the world’s first company to receive authorisation to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland in 2017.
Leveraging its Matternet Station, M2 drone and Cloud platform, the company has achieved safe flights over densely populated areas and partnered with Swiss Post for on-demand deliveries of medical samples to hospitals in Switzerland.
Boeing HorizonX Ventures managing director, Brian Schettler said: “Matternet’s technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality.
“Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing’s position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions.”
In May 2018, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration 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.
Today, Matternet joined an initiative to shape the future of mobility as part of the World Economic Forum. The company will participate in the Drone Innovators Network to accelerate a safe, sustainable, global mobility system focused on improving people’s lives.
Matternet founder and chief executive officer, Andreas Raptopoulos said: “We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream.
“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.”
The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specialising in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations.