Aerit Shutdown: Why Europe’s Top Drone Delivery Service Couldn’t Keep Flying

Estimated read time 3 min read

Aerit, a Swedish drone delivery startup, recently ceased operations despite leading Europe in drone delivery. Known for its efficient service, Aerit struggled to secure funding due to its modest marketing and the challenging hardware startup environment.

The Rise of Aerit Drone Delivery

Aerit launched its drone delivery hub in Gustavsberg, Sweden, last June, covering over 100 square kilometers and serving 50,000 potential customers. With a mission to create the best delivery service, Aerit focused on delivering everyday goods efficiently, unlike other companies targeting niche markets. Their Nimbi drones, with a 6 km range and 4 kg payload, outperformed competitors like Amazon and Wing, operating in various weather conditions.

Aerit’s design engineer, Leo Södergren explained on LinkedIn what went right and what challenges the drone delivery company faced.

What Went Right

Adaptable and Efficient Team

Starting with just seven members and growing to twelve, Aerit’s small team could quickly adapt and innovate. Within a month, they could develop and implement new hardware and software.

Robust Drone Technology

Aerit’s Nimbi drones could handle extreme weather and had minimal pilot intervention, aiming for full autonomy within six months.

Supportive Legislation

Interactions with the Swedish Transport Agency and LFV provided ample legislative support, allowing Aerit to expand its capabilities despite limited resources.

Why Aerit Drone Delivery Service Couldn't Keep Flying

The Challenges Faced

Scaling Prematurely

Aerit focused on making future projects scalable instead of perfecting current solutions. This diverted resources from developing existing products, leading to maintenance issues.

Lack of Marketing

Aerit’s modest approach to marketing and showcasing achievements hindered its ability to attract investors. Founder Teo Rizvanovic admitted, “We thought our accomplishments spoke for themselves.”

Tough Market Timing

The current hardware startup environment is challenging, with VCs wary of risks, especially after the collapse of SVB. Despite a solid concept, Aerit struggled to secure fair funding.

Key Players

Aerit’s success was driven by dedicated individuals like founders Alexander Perrien and Teo Rizvanovic, along with team members Dieter Van de Walle, George Rudd, and others who brought diverse expertise to the company.

DroneXL’s Take

Aerit’s journey highlights the potential and challenges in the drone delivery industry. Despite technical successes and a dedicated team, the lack of aggressive marketing and the current investment climate were significant hurdles. The story of Aerit underscores the importance of balancing innovation with effective Promotion and the need for supportive investment environments. As Drone Technology evolves, future ventures can learn from Aerit’s experience to better navigate the complexities of scaling hardware startups.

Photos courtesy of Aerit

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