The business use case and appetite for drone technology is growing rapidly. A marketplace that was worth $29.8B in 2022 is growing 38.6 percent annually. Serving this demand, the world’s largest producer of commercial vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones, Wingtra, today announced a $22M 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 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 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 commercial WingtraOne VTOL, 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, 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 0.5 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). 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.
“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 & right-of-way studies), over the design phase (bidding process, detailed design & 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 AB, where he directed product and innovation at its mining division, driving business growth from $12M to $60M 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 leapt from $4M to $25M 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 AG where he handled the transformation of global teams and brings insights and strengths as a three-time founder.
“Every one of these leaders has the right experience to take Wingtra forward,” said Maximilian Boosfeld. “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.”
DiamondStream Partners Dean Donovan said: “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 $83B+ 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.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Wingtra is the world’s leading VTOL drone solution provider for construction, infrastructure and mining, and urban planning and land management professionals. Since its market entry in early 2017, Wingtra has partnered with the biggest equipment dealers on all continents and has been selling mapping drones globally ever since. In the summer of 2021, Wingtra released the second generation of its WingtraOne drone, the WingtraOne GEN II. The system demonstrates the leading edge of reliability, versatility, efficiency and ease-of-use. To learn more about Wingtra, visit: www.wingtra.com
About DiamondStream Partners
A thematic aerial mobility fund investing in the next generation aviation and aerospace technologies and services. The Fund’s partners bring strong insight into the economics of aerospace and aviation and a deep commitment to developing the industry based on their experiences as co-founders of Volaris and Eos, Seabury Consulting, British Airways, and Bain & Company’s airline practice. For more information, please visit www.diamondstream.com
About EquityPitcher Ventures
EquityPitcher is an early-growth Venture Capital firm that supports promising startups from the DACH region. Through close cooperation with renowned industry experts, investors and exit partners, we pave the way for entrepreneurs to attain the three decisive success factors: capital, know-how and network. For more information, please visit www.equitypitcher.com
About the EIC Fund
The European Innovation Council Fund from the European Commission is an agnostic Fund: it invests across all technologies and verticals, and all EU countries and countries associated to Horizon Europe. It provides the investment component of the EIC Accelerator blended finance. The EIC Fund aims to fill a critical financing gap and its main purpose is to support companies in the development and commercialization of disruptive technologies, bridging with and crowding in market players, and further sharing risk by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow-on funding. The Fund pays particular attention to the empowerment and support of female founders as well as the ambition to reduce the innovation divide among EU countries. www.eic.ec.europa.eu
About Verve Ventures
Verve Ventures is a network and technology-driven venture capital firm based in Switzerland. Verve Ventures invests in startups across Europe from Seed stage onward, in software, hardware and healthcare. With a portfolio of more than 150 startups and around 20-30 new investors investments per year, Verve Ventures is one of Europe’s most active startup investors and has been listed among Europe’s top 5 deeptech investors. Verve Ventures has grown to around 50 team members in Zurich, Berlin and Paris. www.verve.vc
About ACE & Company
ACE & Company is a leading global private equity and venture capital firm with over $1.6 billion in total assets. Since its inception, ACE Ventures has invested $400 million in more than 150 startups across various sectors and geographies. With offices in Geneva, London, New York, and Cairo, ACE & Company has a global network of partners and advisers, providing unparalleled support to portfolio companies.