Launched in 2017, Australia-based aeromedical logistics company Swoop Aero announced that it has closed a Series A funding round with returning investors Right Click Capital and Tempus Partners. The startup will use the latest eight figure sum capital injection to establish a presence in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), as well as expand its service offering across the medical logistics space.

Swoop Aero says it aims to provide one hundred million people with better access to healthcare by 2025. The funding will also serve to certify its aviation systems for operations over urban areas which will help the business come closer to their goal.

Over the past three years, the startup has established operations in five countries through partnerships with global health leaders including UNICEF, UKAid and DFID, impacting over two million people. Most recently, it claimed that they are the first company in the world to remotely pilot commercially used drones from another country, when delivering PPE and critical supplies in Malawi (Southeastern Africa) during the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst piloting the aircraft from Australia.

The startup said it has started work with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand to achieve requisite Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) approvals to transport pathology tests and samples locally via the air.

THE LARGER TREND

In 2018, the Vanuatu Government awarded Swoop Aero with commercial contracts covering vaccine delivery to health facilities on three of the archipelago’s small isolated islands that are within a 150 kilometre radius of the main island of Efate, Healthcare IT News reported. The Swoop Aero drones are created from commercial off-the-shelf components, as well as company proprietary technology. They feature a carbon-fibre frame and come encased in a 3D-printed shell that is lighter but as sturdy as fibreglass.

ON THE RECORD 

“As COVID-19 has shown, problems with access to much needed healthcare supplies are consistent across the globe, even in developed countries like Australia, where pathology tests take days to arrive, if they arrive at all. We’re laser focused on further developing our service offering in ANZ and expanding operations so that more people can access vital services. We can’t imagine a future where drone transport isn’t a universally critical component of the health supply chain,” said Eric Peck, CEO and co-founder of Swoop Aero in a statement.

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