Wingtra secures US$22M in funding to pursue ambitious growth plans

Wingtra secures US$22M in funding to pursue ambitious growth plans

Swiss-based vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone manufacturer Wingtra has secured a US$22 million Series B funding round to accelerate its global operations. Wingtra is a world-leading provider of uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV or 'drone') solutions for professionals in construction, infrastructure, mining, urban planning and land management. With this new funding, the company aims to further revolutionize the industry and expand its reach.

The funding round included DiamondStream Partners, EquityPitcher Ventures, Verve Ventures, the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), ACE & Company, John L. Steffens (founder of Spring Mountain Capital) and some of the most successful Swiss entrepreneurs.

Wingtra manufactures professional mapping drones and develops the flight software for fully autonomous operation. The WingtraPilot app operates the combined solution for reliable, fast and accurate collection and processing of aerial survey data. The drones are developed aiming to make it easier for surveying professionals in industries like construction and infrastructure, mining, environmental monitoring, agriculture and urban planning and land management to digitize their surrounding world.

Survey-grade maps and 3D models

The commercial WingtraOne VTOL is the signature drone of the Swiss company, and has emerged as a formidable aerial data solution on the market. The VTOL design means the WingtraOne can take-off and land almost anywhere, even in confined spaces or on rough terrain, enabling widespread data collection. It is being used by hundreds of businesses and organizations, including CEMEX, Rio Tinto, Army Corps of Engineers and Kenya Red Cross, spread across 96 countries. According to the company, the drones conduct over 100,000 flights annually, having mapped 18 million acres of land and sea (the equivalent of 13.6 million football fields).

The team successfully released their second generation drone in 2021, the WingtraOne Gen II, which offers superior survey-grade 2D and 3D maps to help users of the data make better decisions. It integrates the highest-quality sensors of top-end RGB cameras to create 3D models, helping make digital twins at scale so that a single flight covering over 100 hectares can be digitized at 0.5in/px. Wingtra argues that their method enables surveying tasks to be completed up to 30 times faster and at a cost that is 90% lower than what is possible with conventional terrestrial surveying.

From thesis paper to global drone innovator

Wingtra is the brainchild of four young entrepreneurs Maximilian Boosfeld (CEO), Basil Weibel (vice president growth), Elias Kleimann (CFO) and Sebastian Verling (lead engineer). It was created in the Autonomous Systems Lab of ETH Zurich, one of the world’s leading tech universities. Its notable graduate luminaries include Albert Einstein and Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss, who financed the Wyss Zurich Translational Center and is also an investor in Wingtra.

Wingtra started as a thesis paper for the university and became a startup at the Wyss Zurich accelerator. It grew to an internationally expanding scale-up business and, today, the world’s largest producer of commercial VTOL drones. Wingtra employs almost 200 people, has offices in Zurich, Switzerland (headquarters), Fort Lauderdale, US, and Zagreb, Croatia.

Maximilian Boosfeld, CEO and co-founder of Wingtra commented: “Our vision at Wingtra is to create a world where drones help people make the management of large parts of our planet more sustainable and efficient. We reduced the cost of adopting drone assets and increased the data quality. This will help industry to plan better and, fundamentally, improve safety for humans and the environment.”

Boosfeld also emphasized how the company's tool for accurate data collection and solutions for various use cases have impacted industries such as construction, agriculture, land management and environmental protection. The team's commitment to innovation and user-friendly solutions aims to solve future challenges.

Ambitious plans to expand

DiamondStream Partners, an aerial mobility fund that invests in next-generation aviation and aerospace technologies and services, stated to be very excited about partnering with Wingtra. “The product’s simplicity of use, its 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 mapping segment of the aerial intelligence market globally.” DiamondStream Partners' William Dean Donovan said: “We look forward to helping the company in the United States and Latin America, which will be increasingly important geographies as Wingtra continues to expand.”

Wingtra aims to revolutionize the mapping workflow for surveying and mapping professionals, improving their efficiency and productivity. The company has announced ambitious plans for the upcoming years, including the launch of new features, camera integrations and products.

The WingtraOne Gen II provides highly accurate survey-grade 2D and 3D maps, enabling users to make more informed decisions based on the data. (Image courtesy: Wingtra)
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