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British startup raises $40 million for an independent cargo airline

World’s first drone cargo plane raises $40 million from Series A funding round
February 20, 2023

“Dronamics”, is the first private cargo drone airline in the world. On Feb 17, in a Series A funding round, the startup raised $40 million. Its investors include Founders Factory, Speed Invest, Eleven Capital, and the financial division of the UAE defense and security acquisitions authority. Consequently, the European Innovation Council (EIC) granted Dronamics $2.7 million in addition to a promise of $12.6 million in equity investment.

Dronamics was founded by Konstantin and Svilen Rangelov, two brothers from Bulgaria, in 2014. They aim to democratize airfreight, using software and robotics to enable same-day delivery for the masses.

Long-range cargo drones resemble lightweight aircraft without the pilot’s cabin. They have a capacity of 350 kg and may fly up to 2,500 km. Sitting on total funding of $55.3 million, the brothers’ prototype can cross Europe in 12 hours or less. The startup provides a mobility solution that reduces the cost of delivery by 50 percent, carbon emissions by 60 percent, and goods may be delivered 80 percent faster, according to the Dronamics webpage.

Dronamics is the first authorized and autonomous cargo drone airline in Europe, precedenting the beginning of privatized airfreight. The unmanned vehicle flies at an altitude of 6096m, safely below air traffic. But who owns airspace? And who is held accountable for the drones’ carbon footprint?

Zero Petroleum, a British engineering company, supplies Dronamics’ “Black Swan” drone with synthetic petroleum. A combination of green hydrogen and carbon dioxide that refrains from burning fossil fuels. Further, the initiative does not require building new infrastructure and preserving valuable natural and human resources. The compact size of the vehicle allows abandoned airfields or seaports to be repurposed as droneports.

The Strategic Development Fund of the Tawazun council in UAE is one of Dronamics’ significant investors. A strong partnership with the Emirates opens more routes and opportunities for the startup.

The world is becoming smaller, albeit increasingly grounded in consumption. Investing in a mobility initiative that guarantees quick delivery and is environmentally friendly is like smoking an herbal cigarette. Accomplishes the task without harmful side effects.

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