Airpelago’s drones are to fly into five new countries – with unique permission and new money

Breakit writes about Airpelago’s success storys and how their with a new emission can take a big step out in Europe!

Airpelago’s drones fly over power lines all over Sweden. Now they have permission and cash to expand into Europe.

With its drones, the startup Airpelago has inspected many thousands of kilometers of power lines for customers such as Vattenfall, Ellevio and Svenska Kraftnät. Now Airpelago has received money in the bank and a new approval from the Swedish Transport Agency, which allows them to export gas in Europe.

“The new issue will exclusively finance our expansion into new markets,” CEO Max Hjalmarsson writes to Breakit.

In total, Airpelago has collected SEK 20 million from existing owners such as the investment company VEQ. Therefore, the company aims to hire five new country managers to expand into markets such as Great Britain, France, Spain, the Dach area (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Poland. Since before, they have been active in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Much thanks to the fact that they were the first operator in Sweden to receive an LUC certificate (light unmanned certificate) from the Swedish Transport Agency.

“This means that we have received a self-review right for our drone operations, which allows us to grant ourselves permission to operate drones beyond line of sight in new areas,” says Max Hjalmarsson and continues:

“We have had permission to fly drones beyond line of sight in several areas in Sweden since January 2022, but extending the permission to new areas has previously been an uncertain process that could take several months and above all in other countries. Thanks to this permit, we do not need to apply for permits in new areas, but can approve this ourselves.”

Max Hjalmarsson tells us that last year the company inspected about 10 percent of Sweden’s total electricity network or about 15,000 kilometers of power lines. This year, they expect to more than double that, and that also applies to the turnover in the company.

In 2023, Airpelago had a turnover of SEK 11.5 million and the goal for 2024 is a turnover of over SEK 30 million.

How many employees do you have today?

“We have 12 full-time employees today who work with sales, coordination, software development and business development. In addition, we are 15 drone pilots around Sweden and we are now hiring 5 country managers and several drone pilots around Europe,” says Max Hjalmarsson.

According to the company, a drone pilot should be able to inspect 50 kilometers of power lines a day. In the past, companies have used helicopters to make similar inspections.

Max Hjalmarsson has founded Airpelago together with Tobias Fridén and Fredrik Falkman. In 2022, the company had a turnover of SEK 3.8 million with an operating profit of minus SEK 1.4 million.

Orginal text from: Breakit
Picture: Airpelago

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