Air White Whale (白鲸航线), a Chinese freight UAV developer, announced on January 12 the completion of an angel+ round of financing valued at tens of millions of yuan.
The round was led by Dinghan Investment and Zhongying Capital, while existing shareholders Zhencheng Capital and Changzhou Investment Group.
The raise is intended to finance the development of Air White Whale’s large-sized UAV model W5000, onboard maintenance system and general assembling capability.
The latest follow-on fundraising came about seven months after the Beijing-based startup closed its angel round.
The two rounds brought the total amount of financing to more than 100 million yuan (US$14.06 million).
Air White Whale claims to be a technologically independent builder of UAVs for freight and logistics catering to regional aviation.
W5000 is its first model tailor-made to meet the needs of clients from the region aviation sector.
Currently, pneumatic flight test has kicked off on W5000, with the firm also beginning to apply for an airworthiness certificate.
More economical and intelligent
Across the world, pilotless cargo aircraft are increasingly sought-after as a more economical and intelligent alternative to manned cargo planes.
Air White Whale claims that W5000 is the country’s safest and largest freight UAV, with a designed load capacity of 5 tons, a MTOM of 10.8 tons and a cargo hold capacity of 65 cubic meters.
With an air cargo transit time of only 15 minutes, W5000 can also boost the efficiency of freight carriers while lowering their operational costs, the company adds.
On November 31, 2023, Air White Whale partnered with Xinbei District of Changzhou, an eastern Chinese city, looking to leverage the city’s manufacturing strengths and mature industrial chain to conduct aircraft assembling and test flight.
W5000 is expected to roll off the assembly line this year and make its global debut at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai of southern China, also known as the Airshow China or Zhuhai Airshow.