RigiTech is a Swiss air logistics company founded in 2018, which is focusing on developing delivery solutions with fully integrated drones. Their drones are designed and intended to prioritise the network, which is key to turning drone delivery into a sustainable business model. Centralised RigiCloud software infrastructure guarantees reliable and compliant communication, flight monitoring and fleet maintenance management. RigiTech has secured long-range flight permission and undertaken tests in Sweden, Portugal, Italy and France within the healthcare and in vitro diagnosis markets.
David Rovira, the CBO; Adam Klaptocz, the CEO; and Oriol López, the CTO are the founders of this project. Adam and David met a few years ago when they were working for the same drones company. Adam then worked with Oriol at an NGO, during which time Oriol and David were also in touch through the World Bank. “Previous collaboration on other projects made it easy for us to quickly establish a team and prioritise innovation at RigiTech,” they told El Referente.
The company is supported by Rising UP in Spain as part of ICEX-Invest in Spain. The programme is focused on capturing foreign entrepreneurs that want to become established and grow in Spain. The selected start-ups receive resources to develop their business in Spain.
Why did you decide to establish a business in Spain?
We decided to set up a team in Spain to aid our search for talent in Business Development, Marketing and Communication. Our headquarters in Spain also gives us a base within the European Union.
How have you been received? What can you bring to the Spanish market?
We’ve been lucky enough to receive significant help from Rising UP in Spain to open up conversations within the Spanish market and begin to discuss drone delivery with Spanish companies who are looking for new logistics solutions. We are bringing all our technical knowledge to the table and offering new technologies, both in hardware and in software in the Cloud.
What is help from Rising UP in Spain bringing to this expansion process?
Rising UP in Spain is providing essential help to RigiTech in quality training, networking and collaboration with other industries within Spain. They have helped us to grow as a team and adapt to the market.
Why does the world of logistics need to be redefined?
The future of logistics is developing to keep pace with customers’ changing expectations; in particular following the striking growth of e-commerce around the world. Companies now have new, more urgent logistical needs.
What role can you play in this respect?
At RigiTech, we are aiming to provide a clean, efficient means of transport, but also, in the long term, to revolutionise access to medicines, services and goods regardless of place of residence, location or connections with existing roads.
What are the advantages of drone technology?
RigiTech is working to change last-mile inter-urban logistics using a sustainable delivery system. We are also aiming to reduce the disadvantages of unequal accessibility suffered by the residents of certain towns. By bypassing cities, rivers, lakes and crowded mountains, we can reduce delivery times and make access to medications and medical devices almost instantaneous.
How much does using RigiTech reduce delivery times?
To give you an example, in one stretch where transportation by road between two points could sometimes take over an hour, the RigiTech drone was able to connect these points in just 25 minutes. Of course, it depends on the route and conditions of each flight.
What are the most common geographical impediments that other modes of transport don’t have to overcome?
Our system of delivering by drone, known as AirBridge, has a higher impact in mountainous areas, islands, large rural spaces and areas with large bodies of water.
And what impediments do you face, in terms of size, for example?
Currently, the total weight of an aircraft is limited by regulations that exist in every country in which we operate. We therefore aim to always be under a total of 20 kg. Technically speaking, our biggest challenge is wind speed of over 55 kph, although we have no problem flying when it is rainy, sunny or snowy.
What does your AirBridge solution consist of? How did it come about?
AirBridge is a pre-programmed direct air delivery route that connects two locations and can be added to a network of delivery points. Fully independent drone-based logistics can reduce delivery times and result in transportation costs that are ten times lower than by land transport. Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology means that drones can operate from any rooftop or reduced space with no need of a runway. RigiTech solutions simplify integration into any logistics chain through the integration of necessary software, hardware and communication systems into one complete air transport solution.
One month ago, you began to test flights with Biogroup. What do your customers value most about your work?
For Biogroup, our work reduces the cost of their most urgent operations. They valued our implementation process and our collaboration as a team who works side by side with theirs. We managed to provide help and attention to overcome the obstacles that often arise when a big group like Biogroup begins to innovate.
What other companies are trusting in RigiTech? What projects are you working on?
For confidentiality reasons, we can’t share certain names. However, we are working on projects with ITA, Path and Türk Kızılay, the Turkish Red Crescent (equivalent to the Red Cross).
What is your view of the last year?
The last year has been hard, and we’re still overcoming certain impacts of the pandemic as it has limited our ability to travel freely and provide the number of demonstrations we should have been able to do. But RigiTech is on the up, taking the chance to grow in terms of team and talents, and to consolidate our planning to take 2022 by the horns.
Looking to the future: plans, goals, targets? What new features would you like to introduce?
We are very ambitious in terms of our future and growth in Spain, and we are excited to soon be able to announce the first Spanish company who will be integrating our solutions and drone delivery into their large-scale logistics.