F-drones, a Singaporean start-up for maritime drone delivery, has announced that the company has successfully raised its seed capital. Ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping led the round, with participation from the Schulte Group through its venture arm.
Other investors include SEEDS Capital, Entrepreneur First, Orient Ventures, Superangel and several Singapore based angel investors.
F-drones co-founder, Yeshwanth Reddy says:
“We are very excited to be able to close the round with more capital than we initially intended. This demonstrates the industry’s confidence in our capability and vision to make maritime logistics more efficient, sustainable and safe. The capital will enable us to grow our team, accelerate our technology development and bring an unparalleled solution to market faster.”
F-drones provides 24/7 commercial Beyond-Vision-Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries to ships. Currently, the company is developing the Hyperlaunch Heavy (HLH), a fully electric and autonomous proprietary drone, which is capable of delivering 100kg payloads over 100km.
Special Advisor for Innovation at Eastern Pacific Shipping, Gil Ofer, stated:
“EPS is proud to lead F-drones’ first seed round. We firmly believe they will reinvent the shore-to-ship delivery process by being faster, cheaper, and cleaner than any existing model in use today. F-drones also adds an urgent layer of safety for seafarers and service providers by limiting human contact for routine deliveries. We see F-drones as pioneers in an emerging space which has immense potential and we are excited to be part of their journey.”
Presently, F-drones is conducting test flights on Hyperlaunch, a scaled-down version of HLH, capable of delivering 5kg loads over 50km. The company is planning to start test flights to ships in Singapore later this year, and commence commercial drone deliveries with Hyperlaunch soon after.
The funding would allow the company to develop additional technology and commercial partnerships, as well as hire global talent in aircraft design, avionics, autonomy and computer vision.
Various Singaporean government agencies, such as the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) have also supported F-drones’ development. Its flight test initially started Marina South Pier and operations have now expanded to serve a larger area.
Chief Technology Officer of MPA, Thomas Ting said:
“As a key maritime hub, we support maritime technology start-ups which push the envelope driving the next phase of Maritime Singapore’s industry transformation. By providing an enabling environment for solution providers to test bed within our waters and trial new technologies and systems for maritime operations, we accelerate the translation of new technologies into commercial ready solutions. MPA is glad to be able to support tech start-ups such as F-drones to take their solutions to market at a faster pace.”