Quadcopter drones also known as helicopter-style drones are currently the most popular ones. While they can take off and land vertically with pinpoint precision, but they are not very fuel efficient and also not as fast as fixed-wing drones.
Whereas, an aeroplane like drone usually requires either a catapult or a runway to get up to speed before taking off. However, this Swiss tech startup (a spin-off company from the Autonomous Systems Lab at ETH Zurich) has launched a drone which uses the best of both the worlds — dubbed as WingtraOne. You can take a look in the video below, that WingtraOne takes off vertically and then levels out into a horizontal flight.
Raises €9 million funding
Now, recently, Wingtra has raised €9 million to scale its global business further. Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd., Investiere and private investors, as well as existing investors like Zurcher Kantonalbank, took part in this financing round. The company aims to lead the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone industry and will use the funds to grow its global footprint further and push the limits in research and development.
“We see high-growth potential with Wingtra due to the multiple impressive technological advancements across a range of dimensions, setting it apart from its competitors,” said Didier Denat, Chairman of Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd. and Head of Corporate & Investment Banking at Credit Suisse in Switzerland. “The attractive and fast-growing market of VTOL drones, together with the company’s recent key hires, will provide an outstanding setting for the company’s future growth.”
What’s the purpose?
The Zurich-based drone developer startup focuses on optimisation as well as research and development around its WingtraOne VTOL fixed-wing survey and mapping drone. Since its market entry in 2017, it has partnered with more than 50 of the biggest survey equipment dealers worldwide and formed a strong user base. The drone’s VTOL capabilities allows WingtraOne to carry high-resolution mapping cameras that achieve the highest resolution and accuracy in the professional drone market.
“We’re proud to have developed a product with a great market fit that helps our customers on a daily basis,” said Elias Kleimann, Founder and CFO at Wingtra. “With the funds raised, we’ll scale up our operations, expand our sales globally and improve our outstanding product to advance the aerial survey and mapping industry.”
The WingtraOne is a VTOL mapping drone offering unprecedented coverage and accuracy for survey, mining and other industries.
All you need to know about WingtraOne
The battery-powered WingtraOne can fly for about an hour or more and can travel around 60 kilometers. There’s no need for continuous control by the operator, as the Wingtra follows its flight path autonomously. A removable module can carry different payloads: Those looking to inspect railway lines or survey crops for precision agriculture might choose to equip the drone with a high-resolution LIDAR or camera package, for example. Alternatively, an add-on freight module lets the Wingtra carry up to 0.5 kilograms of weight which can be useful in dispatching medical supplies to rural areas.
Over the past two years, Wingtra has experienced rapid growth. Since 2017, the number of employees has more than doubled, from 30 to more than 70, and the WingtraOne has gone from its first sales in Switzerland to markets in more than 40 countries around the world.
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