FlightWin (航景创新), a leading domestic unmanned helicopter startup, yesterday announced the completion of a Series B+ funding round worth more than 100 million yuan (US$14 million).
The raise was led by Beijing E-town International Investment & Development Co.,Ltd and Essential Capital, with participation from SDIC Taikang Trust Co., Ltd and Zhongguancun Venture Capital Development Co., Ltd.
Following the funding, Beijing-based FlightWin will continue to double down on mass production, new product R&D, technical iteration and team building.
FlightWin has more than 15 years of experience in developing unmanned choppers. Its product line consists of pilot-less choppers for civilian and military purposes, ranging in weight from 200kg to 2,500kg.
The corresponding load capacity is 50kg to 1,000kg. These aircraft provide clients with industrial solutions featuring big capacity, long endurance, lost cost and ease of use, according to the company.
Unmanned choppers often are applied in highland and island logistics, forest firefighting, emergency rescue and military training, among other scenarios.
These industries place a high emphasis on the load capacity of aircraft, and this is where FlightWin has an advantage. Its flagship product FWH-1500 chopper can lift a load of 300kg when fully fueled and remain airborne for over 50 hours.
Mass production and delivery
What’s more, unmanned helicopter can also serve as an airborne base station that relays satellite communication and telecom signals to ensure internet connection is stable in the case of emergencies like natural disasters.
cnrobopedia reported earlier this year that FlightWin sent one of its UAVs up into the skies to deliver emergency aid to people cut off by floods that ravaged parts of Beijing in July.
“Through iterations, the overall aircraft performance is steadily on the rise, especially in the area of effective capacity,” Wang Wei, CEO of FlightWin, said, adding the company is working towards bigger capacity and ultra cost-efficiency.
He said the company or industry faces no shortage of orders. Instead, the problem is a lack of mature products built on a massive scale to meet demands from local emergency management authorities, a key and often repeat customer.
Wang explained that the company will focus on bolstering its mass production and delivery capacity.
“Our products are mature and complete. Next we’ll expand the factory and raise capacity and quality, to lower costs through economies of scale,” he noted.
New product development, existing product iteration and talent recruitment will be the next goals high on the agenda.
Having already closed four raises until now, FlightWin looks to start the Series C fundraiser soon. Other goals include doubling the staff from 170 to 350, adding two production facilities and lifting annual output to 500 aircraft.