Born2Global Centre held a Boot-X Program Demo Day for three days from July 6 for early-stage deep-tech startups.
The top 20 selected finalists will partake in this year’s second annual Boot-X Program, an intensive overseas-expansion growth camp, to promote international growth into the US, Chinese, and European markets. This 9-week intensive training course consists of Step 1) formulating sales and marketing strategies upon establishment of an ideal customer list and customer value proposition to increase understanding of targeted markets and Step 2) conducting weekly local-market verification processes.
44 companies were originally chosen for Step 1 in April of this year upon evaluation of 97 applicants. The selected companies went through a training course to refine their strategies for entering their respective markets through personalized consultations with local experts. From there, 20 companies were selected for Step 2 to receive support for the second-stage market verification processes. Key startup experts, such as local startup planners and cross-border venture capitalists, participated in this Demo Day evaluation in which the startups presented timed introductory and Q&A sessions to overseas evaluation committee members. The 20 selected finalists include Business Canvas, MOIN, WRIGHT BROTHERS, PABLO AIR, and RECON Labs.
Chief Executive Director of Born2Global Centre JongKap Kim said, “The intensive overseas expansion growth camp is an efficient program that enables deep-tech startups equipped with innovative technologies and competencies to strengthen their capabilities necessary to enter their targeted markets in a short period of time. As this is a business education program, we will continue striving for progress.”
PABLO AIR, the South Korean-based drone delivery startup has announced that it has raised $8 million in Pre-Series B funding (Related link: https://bit.ly/2UtOByC ). The company will utilize the money to fund its global expansion plans.
“We are happy to announce that we have raised $8 million from our investors in Pre-Series B Funding,” says the spokesperson for PABLO AIR. “We have drawn up major expansion plans to establish a global presence for our brand. The money from this funding will be utilized to fund our expansion plans and give shape to our growth plans.”
According to the company, KTB Network, Be High Investment, Shinhan Venture Investment, BNK Ventures, and Lotte Ventures were the investors who financed a total of 8 million dollars for the pre-Series B round.
Earlier, PABLO AIR had attracted 1.8 million dollars in Series A investment from KTB Network in 2020. The company had also successfully attracted additional investment in the pre-Series B within a year.
KTB Network had made follow-up investments after the Series A round. PABLO AIR has now secured investment funds worth 11 million dollars.
With the “First Penguin Business” by Korea Credit Guarantee Fund (KODIT), PABLO AIR reached 12.5 million dollars for the total accumulated funds.
PABLO AIR exhibited its expertise in drone capabilities for the first time in South Korea in March 2019 when they organized an art show involving 100 drones. They have conducted more than 30 such performances since then. It included a drone art show held in June 2020, complete with art and flames, and involved more than 300 drones.
PABLO AIR successfully completed Simultaneous Long Distance Delivery with two drones for 80.6 km, which is the longest distance record the first time with drone in Korea in November 2020. The company is developing an advanced ground control station to solve the ‘last mile problem’ using drones. PABLO AIR is also developing a drone system optimized for delivery and is working on preparing a solution for delivery service in the sky.
PABLO AIR participated in the “K-Drone System Demonstration Support Project” after the consortium was signed recently with Incheon International Airport Corporation. It has carried out many other projects to commercialize drone delivery.
PABLO AIR is also working on one of its core technologies. “PAMNet”, or “Pablo Air Mobility Network”. It is a remote-control system for multi-modal mobility and will enable real-time control of all mobility such as drones, autonomous vehicles, and trucks that will work without human intervention. People will be able to operate unmanned vehicles and monitor or control using “PAMNet” in real-time from anywhere.
The technology can be used to communicate with government agencies in charge of creating new routes in the sky and airspace control on “PAMNet”. They have plans to commercialize the service through PoC or Proof of Concept.
In May, the PAMNet system was nominated for the AUVSI XCELLENCE Award, the world’s most prestigious unmanned system-related award.
In June, PABLO AIR established PABLO AIR International, INC., an American corporation. They are currently in discussions with global players such as DHL and UPS to launch various services using drones in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, especially for medical, food, and marine products.
Kim Young-Joon, CEO of PABLO AIR, said “Apart from the Series B investment, we are planning to implement a faster and more convenient drone delivery service with drone logistics hubs that will be built up both nationally and abroad. We believe we can introduce a SaaS service that combines autonomous cooperation technology for drone systems and flight control technology suitable for drone delivery with achieving advanced levels of autonomous driving and using collaborative delivery robots so that we can provide a more efficient delivery service to our customers and consumers who have last-mile problems. We will keep challenging ourselves, expanding our business into the global market, and doing our best to become the best partner to help logistics companies grow further.”
A service that delivers packages to islands and mountainous regions using drones is now becoming a reality.
Package delivery from Incheon to nearby islands is currently conducted using 10 passenger ship routes. However, PABLO AIR, a member company of the Born2Global Centre, plans to use its unmanned aerial vehicles to enable a higher-efficiency logistics service and bridge the gap in services between regions. This will eliminate the regional inequality in logistics for daily goods.
Selected for Incheon's logistics robot promotion program, PABLO AIR supplies integrated drone delivery platform using vertical takeoff and landing drones based on drone swarm technology. These are logistics drone operating software that are tailored to the characteristics of Incheon, which has an airport and numerous ports and industrial complexes.
A company based in Incheon Port that is developing a drone platform capable of operating 100 logistics drones at one time, offering delivery services by air to island regions, PABLO AIR demonstrated Korea's first trial of long-range drone operation (up to 57.5 kilometers). Next year, it is planning to make a 40- to 50-kilometer test flight from Incheon Port to Jawoldo and Ijakdo islands, in Woongjin County. Incheon Port Authority will provide an area exclusively for the takeoff and landing of drones in island areas and major port facilities in Incheon.
A related official said, "With its airport, ports, industrial complexes, and free economic zone, Incheon is well-suited for the development of demand for logistics drones and demonstration of the technology. We aim to fill in the logistics void in island regions by utilizing Incheon Port's logistics infrastructure and drone technology."
Founded in 2018, PABLO AIR is a developer of unmanned aerial software and hardware. It was the first Korean company to successfully conduct a long-distance over-sea drone delivery, which covered a distance of 57.5 kilometers and took 1 hour and 56 minutes. Its core business is the development of drone swarm platforms and provision of related solutions. Established by graduate and doctoral researchers in aerial technology,
PABLO AIR succeeded in securing KRW 3 billion in Series A funding in collaboration with Lee Soo-man, chief producer of SM Entertainment, and the KTB Network. It has completed the development of its own drone hardware and is currently working on a software solution that integrates manned and unmanned drones. It is also pursuing projects in areas such as drone swarm technology-based logistics, disaster monitoring, and smart city environment monitoring. Its ultimate vision is to develop benchmark technology and set a new milestone in the PAV (personal air vehicle) air taxi industry.