The business use case and appetite for drone technology is growing rapidly, a marketplace that was worth $29.8 billion in 2022 and is growing 38.6 percent annually.
Serving this demand, Wingtra, which claims to be the world’s largest producer of commercial vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones, has closed a $22 million series B funding round as they accelerate their operations globally.
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, develops the software for fully autonomous flights and the WingtraPilot app operates the combined solution for reliable, fast and accurate collection and processing of aerial survey data.
The drones are making 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.
Their signature drone, the WingtraOne VTOL commercial drone 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.
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 drone which offers superior survey grade 2D and 3D maps to help users of the data make better decisions.
It integrates the highest quality sensors in top-end RGB cameras to create 3D models, helping make digital twins at scale such that a single flight covering over 100 hectares can be digitized at 0.5 in/px.
Compared to terrestrial surveying this is up to 30 times faster and 90 percent cheaper. Wingtra is delivering on the promise of the drone industry to offer effective and reliable means to achieve their needs.
Wingtra is the brainchild of four young entrepreneurs Maximilian Boosfeld, CEO, Basil Weibel, VP growth, Elias Kleimann, CFO, and Sebastian Verling, lead engineer.
Wingtra 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 life as a thesis paper for the university and became a startup at the Wyss Zurich accelerator to an internationally expanding scale-up business and, today, the world’s largest producer of commercial VTOL drones.
Wingtra employs close to 200 people, has offices in Zurich (Headquarters in Switzerland), Fort Lauderdale, US, and Zagreb, Croatia.
Maximilian Boosfeld, CEO and co-founder of Wingtra, says: “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.
“We have built the best tool for accurate data collection and have created solutions together with our partners for a variety of use cases our customers face.
“As an example, our solution is used in all stages of the construction life cycle: from the concept phase (feasibility and right-of-way studies), over the design phase (bidding process, detailed design and site planning), the construction phase (progress tracking to built survey all the way to maintenance, repair and operations.
“And the same holds true for use cases in agriculture, land management and environmental protection. We will continue to innovate and solve the problems of the future with easy to use solutions.”
Wingtra has reinforced its senior leadership with five new industry veteran appointments as it scales the company:
Marcos Bayuelo joins as VP product from Hexagon, where he directed product and innovation at the mining division, driving business growth from $12 million to $60 million in a single product portfolio.
Aleksandar Kostadinov joins as VP sales and customer success and brings two decades of experience building international sales alliances and introducing Leica and Hexagon products to untapped markets.
Alberto Toledo joins as GM in the US from Citrix where revenue lept from $4 million to $25 million in just three years.
Corinna de Maddalena joins as VP People having led HR functions in leading tech companies over 15 years.
Marco Schicker joins as COO from Hilti where he handled the transformation of global teams and brings insights and strengths as a 3x founder.
Boosfeld says: “Every one of these leaders has the right experience to take Wingtra forward.
“They have all successfully grown several organizations to the next level. With this funding round, the right people and market leading product we are well set to accelerate the company growth.”
Dean Donovan, DiamondStream Partners, says: “We are 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 $83+ billion mapping segment of the aerial intelligence market globally.
“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’s works to revolutionize the mapping workflow for surveying and mapping professionals to help them execute their work better and faster. “Significant new features, camera integrations and product launches can be expected in the upcoming years”, says the company.