Boeing invests in UAV urban delivery startup company

By Patrick C. Miller | July 05, 2018

Boeing’s HorizonX Ventures is investing in Matternet, a California-based startup company specializing in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery operations in urban environments.

Matternet plans to combine its advanced logistics platform with Boeing's expertise in complex logistics, integration and manufacturing capabilities to enable more reliable and efficient cargo air transportation. Last year, Matternet became the world's first company to receive authorization in Switzerland to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the $16 million, Series A investment in Matternet, which includes participation by Swiss Post, the Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital. The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations.

"Matternet's technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality," said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. "Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing's position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions."

Last May, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program aimed at accelerating integration of unmanned aircraft into national airspace. As part of the program, Matternet will work with hospitals, universities and transportation agencies in California and North Carolina to facilitate on-demand delivery of medical supplies and samples.

Matternet became the world's first company to receive authorization to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland in 2017. Leveraging its Matternet Station, M2 drone and Cloud platform, the company has achieved safe flights over densely populated areas and partnered with Swiss Post for on-demand deliveries of medical samples to hospitals in Switzerland.

Today, Matternet joined an initiative to shape the future of mobility as part of the World Economic Forum. The company will participate in the Drone Innovators Network to accelerate a safe, sustainable, global mobility system focused on improving people's lives.

"As we expand Matternet's U.S. and global operations, we will work with Boeing to make next-generation aerial logistics networks a reality and transform our everyday lives,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Matternet founder and CEO.