Maybe cargo drones will replace cargo jets in the future? It’s possible and it might help insurers not only tick the ESG box for compliance purposes, (assuming some drones are recharged using solar/wind generated electricity) but win new insurance business from new cargo carriers. There are risks with smaller aircraft delivering online packages, commercial goods and more to smaller drone ports of course, but the opportunities are also there to insure a new goods distribution chain.
This new drone tech is being trialled in various locations around the world, from Japan to Belgium, where a Droneport at Sint-Truiden already acts as a focus for new test flights, plus innovation in software, battery tech, electric motors and so on. See sample videos here.
Here’s some funding news from Seedblink in Bucharest;
SeedBlink, the financing platform for European technology startups, is currently running its second raise for Dronamics, the world’s first licensed cargo drone airline. The campaign targets a Pre-Series A funding of €2 million – exclusively on Seed-Blink – and runs from 18 to 31 of July. This round is a year and a half after the first SeedBlink campaign for Dronamics and allows existing and new investors to maintain and expand their stake in the cargo drone developer and operator. The current round targets a €2 million Pre-Series A financing exclusively on SeedBlink and follows the oversubscribed raise (with a value of €900,000) in December 2021 in which more than 200 investors took part via SeedBlink.
The minimum ticket – €2,500 (€1,000 for SeedBlink Club members) – is an attractive threshold for individuals to become shareholders in the company.
So far, Dronamics has raised $40 million from early-stage funds and angel investors in 12 countries, and the company is co-funded by the European Union through the prestigious Eu-ropean Innovation Council, Europe’s flagship innovation program.
Commercial flights start in 2023, several years ahead of competitors
The mission of Dronamics, the first and only airline licensed to operate long-range cargo drones in the EU, is to revolutionize the cargo industry. The company has a significant ad-vantage in the market thanks to a leadership team formed by aviation, logistics and technology experts.
The core of Dronamics is the Black Swan, (you called it after a legendary catastrophe event on global stock markets? Hmm, interesting – Ed) a revolutionary drone that has been designed to provide same-day deliveries. This advanced, remotely piloted aircraft integrates seamlessly into supply chains, ensuring reliable and efficient transportation of goods. The technology used enables same-day shipping over extended distances for a wide variety of industries: pharma-ceutical, food, e-commerce, spare parts.
The Black Swan drone has a competitive advantage due to the use of certified technology from tier-one aerospace partners and a leading-edge design developed by the company’s world-class engineers.
Dronamics, the first and only cargo drone airline with a license to fly long-range cargo drones in the EU, completed its full-scale first flight successfully in May 2023 and is set to begin commercial operations at the end of this year, several years ahead of competitors.
“With its strong first-mover advantage, innovative technology, manufacturing partnerships, and commitment to sustainability, Dronamics is poised to reshape the freight industry and lead the way towards a more efficient and environmentally friendly future of logistics. It’s an honor to have our seat at the table and give our community of investors the opportunity to support their vision just months ahead of their Pre-Series A round, which will bring the commercial launch of the business” said Andrei Dudoiu, co-founder of SeedBlink, the investment platform sup-porting Dronamics since 2021.
Delivering cargo using potentially 60% fewer emissions
“We are thrilled to be at the forefront of the cargo drone evolution. Our goal is to transform the way goods are transported, offering a faster, more efficient, and green solution. With a range of up to 2,500 km and up to 350 kg cargo capacity, the Black Swan offers not only enhanced operational capabilities but also substantial environmental benefits. When compared to con-ventional cargo transport methods, the Black Swan stands out by reducing emissions by up to 60%, saving time by up to 80%, and cutting costs by up to 50%”, stated Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics.
As Dronamics continues to innovate, it provides an all-in-one solution to its customers, by selling capacity on its routes, not aircraft. Alongside the Black Swan, the company is estab-lishing a network of droneports and fully remote control and cargo handling operations, ensur-ing end-to-end operational efficiency. This comprehensive approach streamlines the entire logistics process, providing a seamless end-to-end experience for clients.
The initial Dronamics campaign was one of the first international capital raises for the equity funding platform SeedBlink, who have by now facilitated more than 70,000 investors from 88 countries to invest in promising venture-backed startups like Dronamics.