Voliro Closes Seed Round for Drone-based UT and More
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Zurich, Switzerland, September 22, 2020 - Voliro AG, a spin-off from ETH Zurich founded in 2019 and currently accelerated at Wyss Zurich, today announced the closing of a CHF 2.0 million seed round to develop advanced flying inspection robots. A very strong consortium took part in the round led by Alpana Ventures, with participation from BackBone Ventures, Zürcher Kantonalbank, and a group of very prominent Swiss Angels.

Regular inspection of aging critical infrastructure such as bridges, silos, storage tanks, ship hulls, and pipes is crucial in order to guarantee continuous operation. These inspections are often in difficult to reach areas and expose humans to high levels of risk such as falling from height or entering confined spaces. This is where Voliro comes in, with its flying inspection robot.

With this seed round, Voliro will accelerate the development of its industrial grade flying inspection robots. The robots are capable of performing in-depth structural integrity assessments using advanced inspection technologies. This minimizes human operators’ exposure to hazardous environments while ensuring high quality inspection data. Voliro’s flying robots, with the unique and patent-pending capability to approach structures at any orientation, can significantly reduce inspection costs and time, while offering various Non-Destructive Testing capabilities.

Mina Kamel, CEO and Co-founder of Voliro AG, states: "We are very happy and excited to welcome the new investors onboard. Together we are revolutionizing work at height. Critical infrastructure in many industries is aging and it is essential to develop innovative ways to perform regular inspections and maintenance, to ensure the safety and integrity of structures."

Timo Müller, Product Lead and Co-founder of Voliro AG, says: "The additional investment allows us to speed up the development process and to package the amazing technology into an industrial grade product."

Alexander Fries, Co-founder of Alpana Ventures, based in Silicon Valley, comments: "Pioneering technology combined with an outstanding team makes Voliro extremely well positioned to open new frontiers in the inspection and maintenance markets. Alpana Ventures led the investment round because Voliro demonstrated that its groundbreaking technology allows various industries to perform asset inspection and maintenance more safely, more efficiently, at a better quality and a lower cost, than the competition. By adding senses like sight and touch, they allow service drones to interact with their environment. The insights and benefits provided would allow significant cost reduction to customers. Furthermore, Voliro’s team members come from the prestigious ETH Zurich with strong experience in robotics and autonomous systems."

Philippe Bernet, founding partner of BackBone Ventures comments: "Voliro has developed a platform technology and a product that solves a tremendous pain on the one hand and opens up opportunities for new and highly valuable services for clients on the other hand. The addressable market is substantial and the very dedicated founders managed to build a complementary team and a strong network of supporters. Those promising factors together make us proud to be part of this financing round together with our network of investors."

About Voliro

Voliro is developing the world’s most advanced flying inspection robot for safe and efficient work at height. Voliro protects and maintains critical infrastructure by delivering high quality, cost-effective and time-efficient robotic inspection and maintenance solutions. Voliro’s powerful aerial robotics platform is supported by a strong ecosystem of applications delivered via in-house and third-party capabilities.

Voliro has already demonstrated strong traction across various industries, for example the oil and gas, petrochemicals, maritime, infrastructure and energy sectors. For more information, please visit ​https://www.voliro.com

About Alpana Ventures

Alpana Ventures is a Swiss/US investment firm focusing on disruptive Digital Technologies and bridging Swiss startups to Silicon Valley. The firm was founded by entrepreneurs to capture the potential of Swiss and European tech expertise in Digital Transformation. The firm operates in Geneva and Silicon Valley. For more information, please visit ​https://alpana-ventures.ch

About BackBone Ventures

BackBone Ventures stands for goal-oriented, profitable and sustainable support for promising start-ups through network, capital and expertise. The company’s goal is to find the most interesting deals in the market and to provide added value. Sustainability is essential and is achieved through innovation and smart work. BackBone's focus are early-stage investments, primarily in the area of ​​innovative ICT, FoodTech and disruptive technologies in DACH & Israel. For more information, please visit ​www.backboneventures.ch

About Wyss Zurich

The Wyss Zurich is a joint accelerator of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), which was made possible by a generous donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. h.c. mult. Hansjörg Wyss. It was established to foster translational research focused on developing treatment protocols and clinical therapies, as well as novel technologies and intelligent systems, in the emerging fields of Regenerative Medicine, Robotics, and hybrid technologies thereof. Wyss Zurich unites world-leading experts from both institutions in multidisciplinary teams, pooling their knowledge and expertise. For more information, please visit ​www.wysszurich.ch

About Zürcher Kantonalbank

Zürcher Kantonalbank is a leading universal bank in the Zurich economic area with national roots and international reach. It is an independent public-law institution owned by the canton of Zurich and has received top ratings from the rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch (AAA/Aaa). For more information, please visit ​www.zkb.ch