Wingcopter, a German unmanned drone technology and services startup, has raised €40 ($43.71m) in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Set up in 2017, Wingcopter manufactures battery-powered drones that are capable of taking off and landing vertically.

They can carry payloads of up to 5kg and have a range of about 100km, the firm said.

Currently, Wingcopter’s drones are delivering goods for small commercial and humanitarian projects, including the delivery of medical supplies to rural areas in Malawi in partnership with UNICEF.

Wingcopter said EIB’s “quasi-equity” investment will be utilised to increase the production of its Wingcopter 198 model, enhance delivery services both domestically and internationally, and ramp up the company’s innovation efforts.

EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle said: “This investment underlines our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs growing and building advanced green technology businesses in the European Union, strengthening our technological competitiveness, creating highly skilled jobs and opening up new markets while preserving nature.”

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The drone company’s team is also working with the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research to develop a hydrogen energy system that can power their drones for longer flights.

EIB’s capital infusion adds to funding from other investors such as REWE Group, ITOCHU, Xplorer Capital, and Expa.

Wingcopter co-founder and CEO Tom Plümmer said: “Our goal is also to improve lives by creating many jobs — in R&D and manufacturing at our headquarters in Europe, as well as in the countries where we provide services, where we train and qualify local young people to operate our drone delivery networks.”