Founder: Elliot Parnham, 2017
Business: Enable networks of scaleable ‘Just in Time’ logistics with autonomous drones, including medical supplies.
Skyfarer started in 2017 straight after Elliot’s undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at Coventry Uni. He did the IMechE UAS challenge and discovered a new passion that aligned with a purposeful goal he had been searching for – using drones for the benefit of society in medical delivery.
At that time there wasn’t much by way of drone delivery activity – there were a handful of key innovators and some new ones were just becoming known. The business started as a manufacturer of drones, with failed prototypes and a final successful prototype for carriage of medical supplies. But building drones wasn’t the challenge – building a new wonder drone wasn’t going to ‘make drone delivery possible’.
Elliot and his team then pivoted to focus on operations – how to use this amazing new drone technology in medical logistics to save lives. Still at this point the company was self-funded and received some small grants for prototyping but they were developing a supportive network, whilst also working full time jobs.
On a roadmap to Africa with some new partners, they were hit by COVID and infused a second pivot of UK market focus with many restrictions at the time.
Just prior they had won a new grant and just after won a larger IUK grant that kicked everything off.
Since that point in the summer of 2020, Skyfarer has moved from strength to strength and grown the team to over 14 with outstanding individuals with various amazing backgrounds. They have also progressed through an overcommitted seed round being a pre-revenue startup right at the teeter point of running out of revenue and also received £250k of grant funding to date.
Additionally they are part of the ESA BIC UK, 5PRING Wayra 5g Accelerator, and Barclays Eagle Labs.
Skyfarer has an amazing consortium of partners, from technology enablers, to academia and also end users including the NHS in many different capacity’s. Their partnership with O2/Telefonica has supported acceleration of capability for out of sight delivery.
The Skyfarer solution is to enable networks of scaleable Just in Time logistics with autonomous drones, from Hub to Hub, to Hub to Spoke (middle mile), and onto the last mile.
They are an operator in the near term with exceptional and leading capability for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) delivery with a drone agnostic paradigm of operations – meaning they can fly different drones for different supply chains and use cases.
Elliot and his team integrate all of the technology required for networks of drone logistics, integrating with conventional logistics, and bring process and compliance into a system to make drone logistics turn key.
In the next year, they will be creating the UKs first network of scaleable logistics in the middle mile for real NHS Trust medical delivery in the West Midlands. They will be expanding their partnerships for more delivery capabilities and Making Drone Delivery Accessible for medical delivery.
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