Griff Aviation has so far raised €10m for a drone design that can lift up to 30kg for power companies, major construction projects, ports, offshore and for urban operations. The company has started the commercial delivery of drones and the first drones were sold to Canada, US, Japan and Australia.
The five year old company based in Sykkylven, Norway, is also working on signing research and development contracts to increase the lifting capacity and use cases with integration of advanced sensor and software for the new versions of the drone range.
The funding comes from Ronja Capital II in Norway and Japanese Chiba Dojo Drone Fund II Investment Limited from Japan to focus on sales in India, Japan, Australia, Scotland and France.
The plan is to raise additional capital, at some point, to expand the manufacturing capacity. The first drone was the GRIFF 135, which measures 2.5m x 2.5m and weighs 70kg of which the battery constitutes 40kg. It has a lifting capacity of 30kg with a flight time of 25min at up to 90km/h.
The ambitious aim is to replace helicopters with drones when they fly cargo in a radius beyond 10km. The next project will be a larger demonstration in India, where one will demonstrate flying with cargo up to 4000m altitude.
The company has also completed certification as of the first heavy lifting drones (100kg in air) in the world with a flight permit to fly over a city. This is one of the most difficult challenges one can achieve in unmanned aviation.
"We are impressed by how strong a position Griff Aviation has gained in the heavy-lift drone market,” said Tore Tønseth, Investment Director at Ronja Capital. “When large and dominant global players want to collaborate with the company, it tells something about how far Griff Aviation has come. We have great faith in what the company can achieve in this fast-growing market."
“[We are] convinced that Griff Aviation's innovative, heavy-lift drones will be used in many industries,” said Miki Temmyo, Global Account Manager at Drone Fund in Japan. “With its reliable technology, robust design and future-oriented vision, we believe Griff Aviation has the potential to be one of the industry's leading companies”
Through existing funds, Drone Fund has an investment portfolio of more than 45 start-up companies in Japan and abroad.
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