- Dronamics, the Bulgaria-born company that develops the world’s first cargo drone airline, announces that it has been awarded a €2.5M grant by the European Commission under the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program.
- The grant will be used to support the development and roll-out of Dronamics’ cargo drone fleet, droneport network, and operations in Europe.
- The EIC has also made a commitment to support Dronamics’ upcoming Series A round.
“We will use this grant to establish our European operations and keep bringing innovation to help elevate communities and businesses using breakthroughs in aviation and technology that will revolutionize air cargo mobility. We see this grant as a testament to the impact that cargo drone logistics can have on the European Union economy at large,” Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and CEO of Dronamics, comments in a press release.
Upon announcing Dronamics’ €3M IPO on the BEAM market, Svilen Rangelov shared for The Recursive that Dronamics plans to fundraise a larger round from a strategic investor by the end of 2022. Therefore, all the individual investors who participated in the IPO joined just in time for the next Series A financial boost of the company.
“Series A will fund the next phase of growth – namely the scaling up of the drone fleet required to serve the commercial routes and demand we are seeing from customers. As our business and operations roll-out internationally and become global by nature, as is the movement of goods, our pool of investors will diversify geographically and we anticipate a range of investments from both financial and strategic investors. We intend to launch the round early next year shortly after our first successful operational flight,” the team of Dronamics comments for The Recursive.
All set for commercial manufacturing
Dronamics recently became the first drone cargo company in the world to obtain a European drone airline license, allowing it to self-authorize flight operations across EU countries. The company is currently working with a consortium in the UK to build out a medical supply drone network for NHS Scotland.
Now, the company prepares for the first commercial flights of its flagship Black Swan aircraft next year. The Black Swan – the only cargo drone that can carry 350kg at a distance of up to 2,500 km, aims to transform supply chains by filling the critical missing middle mile in air freight, securing the provision of same-day deliveries to even the most remote areas of the world.
In September 2022, Dronamics announced a strategic partnership with Cotesa, a European manufacturer of composite fiber components for aerospace and automotive companies, for the production of its Black Swan drones. The first units produced in Cotesa’s facilities in Germany will support the start of Dronamics’ commercial air freight cargo drone operations in 2023.
The R&D hub of Dronamics remains in Sofia, Bulgaria where the local team continues to enhance the development of the Black Swan prototype.
On the way to becoming a zero-emission aviation solution
Then, in October, the middle-mile cargo drone developer and operator sealed anotherpartnership with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS), an innovator in the development of zero-emissions solutions for aerospace. The two companies announced that they will be combining their expertise to integrate hydrogen fuel-cell technology into the Black Swan, with the vision to bring to market a viable, sustainable solution for cargo delivery services.
Dronamics has also partnered with Zero Petroleum, a British company that makes whole-blend synthetic, non-biological fuels, to fuel its drone cargos with fossil-free fuel. The partnership would support the creation of Dronamics’ sustainable same-day delivery service for items such as e-commerce goods, perishable food, manufacturing parts, and medical supplies.
The company has commented that the use of Zero Petroleum fuels, rather than fossil fuels or even biofuels or fuel from waste, is key to the company’s long-term sustainability plans.