Boeing HorizonX Ventures has been on a tear lately investing in drone startups — and the venture capital group just expanded its portfolio to include a drone delivery company.
Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the venture capital arm of aerospace leader Boeing, led a $16 million Series A funding round in drone delivery startup Matternet.
The $16 million funding round was announced on Tuesday and includes participation from Swiss Post and Sony Innovation Fund.
Matternet said it is using the money to expand its urban operations.
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Boeing HorizonX in October 2017 invested an undisclosed amount of money in Near Earth Autonomy, a Pittsburgh-based firm that develops technologies enabling autonomous flight such as drones. And in June, Boeing’s HorizonX led a relatively small $5 million funding round in San Francisco-based drone software startup Kittyhawk.
Matternet is one of the companies chosen to be a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone pilot program. The program pairs governments up with private companies to test types of drone flights that are currently banned in the U.S., including flying drones at night, flying over people and, yes, package delivery. Other drone delivery companies participating in that program include Flirtey and Zipline.
In May, its efforts with the FAA’s drone pilot program came to fruition as it carried out drone logistic operations for a handful of hospitals. is currently working with UC San Diego Health and the City of San Diego, and WakeMed Health and Hospitals and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, to establish Matternet networks for on-demand transportation of lab samples and medical items between hospital facilities.
Matternet has also had a heavy presence in Switzerland through partnerships with post the Swiss Post and Mercedes-Benz.
Matternet was founded in 2011 and is based in Menlo Park, Calif. It is currently led by one of the company’s cofounders, Andreas Raptopoulos.