Natilus is building a full-scale, over 200-foot drone by 2020. Natilus has stated aims to build hundreds of the drones, some of which will be sold directly to customers--ideally to companies like UPS and FedEx as well as "medium freight forwarders" like Whole Foods and Costco. Matyushev notes that Natilus may operate some of the drones itself as a freight airline but fly them under the brand logos of customers. The company is testing drones for a variety of applications, ranging from humanitarian aid to commercial delivery and inventory inspection.
One of Natilus' stated goals is to use lower shipping costs to reduce the price of goods to consumers.
Amazon and other companies are working on using small drones for their deliveries and Natilus operates on the larger scale to potentially compete with current shipping markets.
On June 24, 2016 Natilus announced raising $750,000 in seed funding from Draper Associates.
On November 13, 2017 Natilus announced raising their second round of seed funding of an undisclosed amount from Starburst Ventures, Seraph Group, Outpost Capital, Gelt VC, and Draper Associates. The company plans on using their second round of seed funding to launch their first Federal Aviation Administration approved flight, and commercially launch its product in 2020.
Aerospace Engineering Podcast
April 1st, d019