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13 August 2019, Melbourne, Australia: Swoop Aero, the Melbourne-based drone-powered logistics service that delivers medical supplies in remote communities around the world, today announced it has received a further Venture Capital investment, co-led by venture capital firms Tempus Partners and Right Click Capital. The announcement comes as Swoop Aero commences flight operations to deliver vaccines by drone in the Équateur province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The latest injection of funds will be used to fuel Swoop Aero’s continued growth by preparing for production at scale and enabling market entry into Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia throughout the second half of 2019 and beyond.
Founded by former air force pilot Eric Peck and mechatronics engineer Josh Tepper in 2017, Swoop Aero transforms the way the world moves essential supplies by making access to the sky seamless.
Eric Peck, CEO and Co-Founder of Swoop Aero, said, “Our trial program in the Tafea and Shefa provinces of Vanuatu has been hugely successful, with drones providing the perfect solution to Vanuatu’s geographic landscape and limited infrastructure. It’s has proven Swoop Aero’s capability to revolutionise access to healthcare.
“Looking to 2020, Swoop Aero is well positioned to continue scaling its operations and transporting essential supplies and medical samples between an increasing number of locations around the world. We’re a growing professional organisation with an unbeatable technical background. Our operations team includes former air force pilots, current commercial pilots, and leading engineers, meaning we are ideally positioned to enable access for in-need communities in locations that have previously been the hardest places to reach in the world.”
In 2018, Swoop Aero became the first company in the world to deliver vaccines by drone under a commercial contract, after winning an open tender run by UNICEF and the Vanuatu Government. Swoop Aero completed an initial four-month trial in Vanuatu, saving lives, and enabling approximately 500 children to be vaccinated across its spread of 80 volcanic islands, in villages often requiring 8 hours travel to reach the main provincial health centre.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, VillageReach and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, Swoop Aero also commenced drone transport flights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this week, to ensure all communities can access life-saving vaccines and medical supplies. This need is all the more pressing in light of the public health emergency declaration made by the World Health Organization following an Ebola outbreak in the region. Over the initial 5 days of the trial Swoop conducted 50 flights to and from the Mbandaka hospital, covering over 2000 kilometers and delivering two months of vaccines and critical medical supplies for four health centres nestled deep in the equatorial forest, and returning with time sensitive blood samples for testing.
With the potential to carry vaccines and other essential medicines in remote communities, drones represent one approach to bridging the “last mile” between hard-to-reach populations and the vital healthcare products they need. One drone flight can safely convey vaccines at the right temperature in around 20 minutes before picking up samples for the return flight, expediting what is typically a six-hour round trip journey and unlocking the transition to on-demand logistics.
In its most recent round of fundraising, Swoop Aero secured a multimillion-dollar investment from Australian venture capital firms Tempus Partners and Right Click Capital. Alister Coleman, Partner at Tempus Partners and Garry Visontay, Partner at Right Click Capital have both joined the Swoop Aero Board as Directors.
Eric Peck continued, “We’re thrilled to have the ongoing support of world leading venture capital firms, Tempus Partners and Right Click Capital, both as investors and advisors. Both funds have strong track records of working with technology-led start-ups and their committed support is invaluable as we advance to the next stage of our growth.”
Right Click Capital invests in early-stage, high-growth technology businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, offering financial backing, the benefit of extensive experience in building and scaling technology businesses, and access to a global network through the Draper Venture Network.
Garry Visontay, Partner at Right Click Capital, said, “Our philosophy is to support founders who are building remarkable businesses, and work with them to make their vision a reality. Highlighted by their work in the DRC, Swoop Aero has an enormous potential to revolutionise on-demand medical care. Their unique technology enables the cost-effective delivery of essential medical services across inhospitable terrain, unpredictable waterways and mountain ranges. We’re delighted to continue supporting Eric and Josh as they grow their business and reach more of the world’s population that don’t have access to essential medical care.”
Tempus Partners, founded in 2013, has invested in revolutionary startups including Auror, HealthMatch, Ansarada and Freelancer. Tempus Partners believes in backing the most ambitious and talented founders, and unique companies becoming the legendary technology companies of tomorrow.
Alister Coleman, Partner at Tempus Partners, said, “Swoop Aero is an incredible company with a world class founding team. On-time delivery of pharmaceuticals and pathology across long distances holds back the progress of modern medicine, and Swoop Aero’s disruptive work across the globe, including in the DRC and Vanuatu, is re-shaping the bounds of healthcare, pathology and critical drug delivery. We are excited about the work the company is doing, and in Swoop Aero’s continued growth and expansion in the home markets of Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.”
Swoop Aero transforms the way the world moves essential supplies by making access to the sky seamless. Founded in 2017, this Australian born and bred company is bringing healthcare logistics into the 21st century by deploying two-way drone networks capable of delivering essential medical supplies to urban, rural and remote areas globally. Their fully managed air transport service provides access to the skies to ensure sustainable, reliable and scalable provision of essential health supplies. Unmanned vehicles are at the heart of the next significant shift in supply chain logistics. From the UN to USAid and the Gates Foundation, they are trusted to create value by sustainably transforming health supply chains.
Right Click Capital is an investment firm that specialises in identifying, investing in and supporting technology businesses across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. The firm’s team have all founded multiple successful technology businesses and have extensive operational and investment experience. Right Click Capital is the Australian member of Draper Venture Network, a global alliance of venture capital firms with over USD1.8bn in collective assets under management and over 600 portfolio companies around the world.
Tempus Partners is an Australian early stage venture capital firm investing in the legendary technology companies of tomorrow. As a team of founders and investors, Tempus matches long term investment capital with deep operating experience, and a collaborative approach to removing the barriers to our founders’ success.”
VillageReach is a nonprofit organization that works with governments to solve health care delivery challenges in low-resource communities. Its programs focus on increasing access to quality health care at the last mile, or the point at which services are delivered. We develop and implement new ideas and approaches to ensure vaccines and medicines are available and increase the capacity of health workers and ensure they have access to data to improve health.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is an international organisation that was created to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live. Gavi is supported by donor governments, the European Commission, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners.