Wingtra founders Basil Weibel, Maximilian Boosfeld, and Elias Kleimann, TOP100 Swiss Startup, Venturelab
Maximilian Boosfeld, CEO and co-founder of Zurich-based Wingtra, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones, warns that the world’s resources are very limited and there is a lot of waste.
“Our objective is to help the world’s assets be managed more sustainably and effectively.”
As a result of today’s news that Wingtra has received $22 million in new funding to help the company grow, our goal will get bigger.
The completion of the Series B round in 2017, six years after the company’s founding, is a vote of confidence in the company’s innovative technology.
Because of Wingtra’s VTOL technology, their drones can work in even the most difficult places, like those with limited space.
The drones also have high-tech imaging equipment that lets the operators do very accurate surveys of the ground.The company not only makes software that helps turn data into 2D and 3D maps, but also works with clients in fields like construction, engineering, mining, and transportation.
Boosfeld explains that the most modern satellite cameras can currently provide pictures in which each pixel represents approximately 3,250 centimeters.
In comparison, Wingtra’s technique produces pictures with a pixel size of 1-2 centimeters.
He continues, “We can see a penny lying on a football field.”
There are several uses for this technology, which is continually evolving.
Transport officials in the United States, for instance, use Wingtra’s drones to inspect interstate roads and other highways, monitoring the network for wear and tear so that it can be maintained and kept open.
Meanwhile, the Army Corps is flying drones over the United States’ dikes and levees to check for any problems or breaches.
Elsewhere, construction businesses are utilizing technology to map construction sites in more detail than ever before, allowing for more precise project planning and management.
Environmental organizations and mining businesses use drones to monitor extraction and land usage.
Clients from the private sector include the mining company Rio Tinto and the construction materials expert CEMEX.
Working with such clients, Wingtra’s drones currently make more than one hundred thousand flights each year and have mapped 18 million acres of land and water, the equivalent of 13.6 million soccer fields.
Boosfeld says that formerly, many of these tasks would have been performed manually, forcing organizations to transport teams of surveyors to frequently remote and inaccessible areas.
“We minimize the time required for a survey by 90% or more compared to a manual technique,” he explains.
“Users receive the data they require more quickly and with more precision, allowing them to make better decisions.”
Wingra assists clients in conserving more than simply time.
Boosfeld states, “Our objective is to create a world where drones assist people in managing significant portions of the earth in a more sustainable and effective manner.”
Armed with more realistic images and models, users will be able to efficiently scope out work and allocate just the resources that are truly required for projects.
In addition, imaging may be used to monitor firms’ usage of land and other assets.
Since its founding, the company has developed rapidly.
Wingtra originated as a thesis paper written by Boosfeld and co-founders Basil Weibel, Elias Kleimann, and Sebastian Verling, who met at ETH Zurich, Europe’s premier robotics technology university.
It presently employs over 200 people, and its drones are in use in 96 countries across the world; sales were bolstered in the summer of 2021 by the announcement of the product’s second version, which provides more capabilities and enhancements.
The Series B funding should help the firm capitalize on its early success.
“This market is still in its infancy, therefore we continue to explore new use cases and solutions,” adds Boosfeld.
The company has ambitious expansion goals in the United States as well as in other international markets.
In addition, a number of appointments are being made to boost the company’s leadership in areas such as operations, sales, product development, and people.
The $22 million in investment comes from investors such as DiamondStream Partners, EquityPitcher Ventures, Verve Ventures, Ace & Company, and the European Innovation Council Fund, as well as several business angels and entrepreneurs.
“The product’s ease of use, high reliability engineering, and the company’s global network of value-added resellers and service providers have positioned it to expand its leadership in the $83 billion mapping segment of the global aerial intelligence market,” says Dean Donovan, managing director of DiamondStream Partners.
As Wingtra continues to grow, the United States and South America will become more significant locations.